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Russia’s activity in the declared settlement in the Donbass is the placement of traps that will achieve the ultimate goal: the federalization of Ukraine.
First, by forcing the fixation of the “Steinmeier formula”, Moscow wants Ukraine to be unable to control the Donbass before the elections. Obviously, in this case, ensuring a transparent electoral process is impossible.
Second, Moscow insisted that under the “Steinmeier formula” signatures of both a representative of Ukraine and representatives of puppet pro-Russian “governments” in Donetsk and Lugansk should be signed at the same time.
Kyiv has bypassed this trap and limited itself to sending a separate letter on behalf of Ukraine’s representative to the Tripartite Contact Group, Leonid Kuchma, to OSCE Representative Martin Saydik. Such a form allows Kiev not to bear binding legal liability in the event of a breach by Russia or its militants – and this letter can be hung in a toilet somewhere near the Budapest Memorandum.
Elections or legalization?
Obviously, holding democratic elections in the ORDLO – in line with Ukrainian legislation and OSCE standards – is not part of the Kremlin’s plans.
Realizing this, the authorities of Ukraine reject the elections on the terms of fighters – the president and the Foreign Ministry have repeatedly made it clear that the Russian version of the settlement in the pure version is impossible:
there will be no complete amnesty and legitimization of the “people’s police”;
it is necessary to ensure security in the region before the election process begins. The occupied territory must not remain under the full control of either Russia or the self-proclaimed “republics”;
elections in the Donbass will not take place until the Russian troops withdraw from there.
not only the demilitarization of the region is needed, but also the return to the occupied territories of the media, financing of the elections from the state budget, restoration of the Ukrainian judiciary and the banking system, the return of the Ukrainian parties, which should participate in the elections in the Donbass.
Difficulties arose with another condition of settlement – the deployment of troops along the line of contact. Ukraine reaffirmed its readiness to deploy forces and assets in the Golden and Petrovsky districts. Instead, the Russian side has blocked the determination of a possible divorce date. And the People’s Police of the People’s Republic of Lithuania did not disassemble their fortifications near the breeding line. Moreover, members of illegal armed groups, dressed in civilian clothes, conduct sabotage measures.
Firing of Ukrainian positions is continued on a regular basis – from rocket-propelled grenades, hand-held anti-tank grenade launchers and large-caliber machine guns and even mortars.
In such circumstances, it is worth remembering what ended the previous breeding.
Thus, during the first armistice in September 2014, Kiev withdrew troops for a considerable distance, and since September 5, 2014, shootings have stopped all over the front, with the exception of the Donetsk airport. However, such a truce was perceived by the Russian command as a weakness. In October 2014, the Ukrainian 32nd blockbuster, surrounded and severely damaged, was surrounded and captured without firing. The occupation army seized large tracts of territory that, under the terms of the 1st Minsk, had to be controlled by Ukraine. The large city of Dokuchaevsk was supposed to be under Ukrainian control, where it did not come from. It was impossible to divide troops on the border defined by diplomats because of the refusal of the Russian Federation.
On February 15, 2015, the Second Minsk Armistice and Troops entered into force. It was broken in a few hours. The Russian occupation forces continued their offensive operations and seized the area of Debaltseve, which had to be under the control of Ukrainian troops in both the 1st and 2nd Minsk agreements. The front line delimitation conditions were again disrupted. This determined the struggle for control of the “gray zone” – the gap between positions whose status after the failure of the 2nd Minsk was determined purely by military means.
Putin does not want to allow anyone at the border with Ukraine – not only the AFU, but also international peacekeepers. Moscow regularly sends across the Ukrainian-Russian border to the occupied territories of ammunition, weapons and troops. Therefore, for the Russian Federation, control over the border is to preserve for itself the possibility to strike at Ukraine through the occupied Donbass at any time they need.