In Ukraine

By New Cold War.org, June 13, 2016

March in Donetsk city on June 10, 2016 opposing Ukraine's call for armed, international 'peacekeepers' to Donetsk and Lugansk (Mikhail Sokolov, TASS)

March in Donetsk city on June 10, 2016 opposing Ukraine’s call for armed, international ‘peacekeepers’ to Donetsk and Lugansk (Mikhail Sokolov, TASS)

On Friday, June 10, tens of thousands of citizens of Donetsk and other cities in the Donetsk People’s Republic rallied in the city center to oppose talk coming from Kyiv of a foreign ‘peacekeeping’ military mission into the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics. The latest incarnation of this idea coming from Kyiv presents it under the guise of a mission of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

The marchers gathered in the central square of the city and heard speeches from political leaders, including from Denis Pushilin, the lead negotiator of the Minsk-2 ceasefire process for the Donetsk People’s Republic.  A video of the crowds marching into central Donetsk on June 10 is here. Video (in Russian) of excerpts of speeches to the rally is here on Politnavigator.net, as reported on Fort Russ.

Citizens rally in central Donetsk city on June 10, 2016 (Mikhail Sokolov)

Citizens rally in central Donetsk city on June 10, 2016 (Mikhail Sokolov)

Talk of ‘peacekeeping’ missions to eastern Ukraine has been coming for many months from Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. The Ukrainian president has even misrepresented the views of the Russian government, falsely claiming that Russia concurs with his musings.

Some months ago in an earlier version of this scenario, Poroshenko mused about United Nations peacekeepers. At the time, Denis Pushilin reminded Poroshenko and the world that the Minsk-2 agreement delegated specific responsibility for observing and reporting on the ceasefire to the OSCE, not to other international bodies.

“According to article three of that document, oversight of the agreement is conducted by the Special Monitoring Mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. No representatives from the UN or from other peacekeeping organizations are provided for,” Pushilin explained.

'No foreign military intervention in eastern Ukraine', rally in Donetsk June 10, 2016

‘No foreign military intervention in eastern Ukraine’, rally in Donetsk June 10, 2016

The musings by the Ukrainian president about foreign intervention go back to the immediate aftermath of the signing of Minsk-2. At the time, Russia sharply dismissed Poroshenko’s talk and reminded him and his government  of their obligations under the agreement.

The ceasefire envisioned by Minsk-2 and endorsed by no less than the UN Security Council has not come into effect because of ongoing violations by the Ukrainian armed forces and its allied, extremist paramilitaries. None of the 13 clauses of Minsk-2 have been fully implemented, including the most basic one—that Ukraine recognize and negotiate with the political authorities of the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics.

As reported daily by DPR and LPR officials, Ukraine continues to pound civilian districts of the two republics every day with mortar and artillery fire. Western media ignores these war crimes and other, blatant violations of the Minsk-2 agreement, while the OSCE observer mission in the region offers only meek and disjointed reporting in its daily reports of what is taking place.

Eleven months ago, residents of Donetsk vented their anger at the inaction of OSCE and International Red Cross observers present in the region. The residents held a protest outside the hotel where the foreign observers were staying.

Poroshenko laid groundwork for foreign military intervention into Ukraine one year ago when he steered through the Verkhova Rada a resolution authorizing him to welcome foreign soldiers on the country’s territory. Previously, any such foreign presence has to be approved in the Rada by special law initiated by the president. Adoption of the resolution was followed by the formal entry into Ukraine of soldiers of the United States, Britain and Canada, operating under the guise of “training missions”. Most disturbingly, the new law permits the entry onto Ukrainian soil of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.

Unlike the previously existing law, no time limit is set when Ukraine’s president welcomes foreign soldiers into the country.

Detailed reports in English of Ukraine’s ongoing war crimes and violations of Minsk-2 are provided by the Donetsk International News Agency here. The text of the Minsk-2 ceasefire agreement of February 12, 2015 is here.

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