Russia accuses U.S. of genocide denial

From RT
February 18, 2022

US is ignoring the targeting of Russian speakers in Ukraine, Moscow’s envoy in Washington said

By Alexey Viryasov

America’s willful ignorance of atrocities being committed against Russian-speaking people in Ukraine is causing “outrage and indignation” in Moscow and is an example of Washington’s “double standards,” Russia’s ambassador to the US claimed on Thursday.

Anatoly Antonov’s statement came in response to a comment made by US State Department spokesman Ned Price, who accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of spreading allegations with “no basis of truth.” On Tuesday, Putin claimed that Kiev was committing “genocide” in Donbass, in east Ukraine.

In a statement published on Facebook, Antonov listed the shelling of residential areas and the 2014 Trade Unions House fire in Odessa as examples of Kiev targeting Russian speakers.

He also claimed that mass graves with almost 300 people had been found in the Donbass, and asserted that they had been killed because of their native language. Similar claims have been slammed by the US of being “false narratives.” [Editor: The US denies the genocide and forced assimilation their ancestors did as they advanced across and claimed land on the American continent.]

“Washington’s beautiful slogans about the supreme value of human rights are not worth a penny. The main geopolitical goal of the United States is to push Russia back to the East as far as possible,” the envoy said. “To that end, a policy to force the Russian-speaking population out of their current places of residence is needed.”

“Americans prefer not only to ignore the attempts of forced assimilation of Russians in Ukraine but also strongly condone them with political and military support,” he continued, adding that the interests of millions of Russians living in Ukraine must be protected, which he called “a guarantee of Ukraine’s statehood and territorial integrity.”

The armed conflict in Ukraine began in 2014, following the events of the Maidan, when violent street protests toppled the democratically elected government in Kiev. Shortly after, two regions declared themselves independent states, named the Donetsk (DPR) and Lugansk (LPR) People’s Republics.

Moscow has repeatedly refused to recognize the breakaway states as sovereign, instead calling for them to be integrated into Ukraine with a special status. However, earlier this week, the Russian State Duma adopted a resolution urging Putin to recognize their independence.

https://www.rt.com/russia/549870-accusing-us-genocide-denial/

US accelerates troop deployments as Biden threatens “world war” with Russia

From World Socialist Web Site
February 12, 2022
Alex Lantier, Johannes Stern

As Washington and its NATO allies work to militarily surround Russia, US officials yesterday declared that a US-Russia war is imminent.

US soldiers line up during the visit of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the Mihail Kogalniceanu airbase, near the Black Sea port city of Constanta, eastern Romania, Friday, Feb. 11, 2022 [Credit: AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru]

Yesterday, Washington announced the deployment of 3,000 troops from the 82nd Airborne Division to bases in Poland, which borders Ukraine. Britain and Germany will send hundreds of soldiers to strengthen NATO battlegroups in Estonia and Lithuania. This comes after NATO countries have for weeks delivered Javelin anti-tank missiles, Stinger anti-aircraft missiles and Turkish TB2 Bayraktar drones to the Ukrainian regime in Kiev.

The narrative NATO is peddling—that it is acting to defend Ukraine from Russia—is a pack of lies. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has publicly declared that Russia’s military posture is not consistent with plans for an all-out invasion of Ukraine. Moreover, when reporters challenged US claims that Russia is preparing an attack, State Department spokesman Ned Price could do nothing but argue that undisclosed “intelligence information” meant his claims were true.

Nearly two decades after Washington invaded Iraq based on lies that it had “weapons of mass destruction,” US imperialism and its NATO allies are concocting a strategy to trigger a war with Russia, a nuclear-armed power, under conditions where they can blame Russia for it. Reports of mounting Ukrainian military activity in the Donbass region suggest that a NATO-backed military provocation can be staged there to trigger the war.

Yesterday, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Russia is “in a position to be able to mount a major military action” and refused to give any further details, stating: “I will not comment on the details of our intelligence information. But I do want to be clear, it could begin during the Olympics, despite a lot of speculation that it would only happen after the Olympics.” On this basis, Sullivan urged US citizens in Ukraine to “leave as soon as possible.”

Significantly, Sullivan added that the NATO alliance had concluded very detailed planning for a confrontation with Russia. He said, “We have achieved a remarkable level of unity and common purpose from the broad strategy down to the technical details. If Russia proceeds, its long-term power and influence will be diminished, not enhanced by an invasion. It will face a more determined transatlantic community.”

This followed a statement by Biden the day before calling on US citizens to leave Ukraine, adding that “things could go crazy quickly” and that a US-Russian conflict would be “world war.”

This strategy is coordinated with the European powers. Yesterday, Biden’s emergency call went to Prime Ministers Boris Johnson (UK), Justin Trudeau (Canada), and Mario Draghi (Italy); Presidents Emmanuel Macron (France), Andrzej Duda (Poland) and Klaus Iohannis (Romania), German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and EU and NATO officials. According to a White House report, they pledged “to impose massive consequences and severe economic costs on Russia, should it choose military escalation, and to continue reinforcing the defensive posture on NATO’s eastern flank.”

US officials insist war could begin next week, Der Spiegel reported, stating that “both the CIA and the US military informed the German government and other NATO states on Friday that they feared, based on new information, that the attack could take place as early as next Wednesday.”

At the same time, NATO is holding several major military exercises. The “Dynamic Manta 22” anti-submarine exercise begins on February 20 in the Mediterranean, followed by the “Dynamic Guard” exercise in Norway two days later. Both transition into “Cold Response,” the largest “war game” in Norway since the 1980s, involving 35,000 troops from 28 countries.

Yesterday, at Romania’s Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base, NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg promised to reinforce Eastern Europe. About an upcoming Madrid summit, he said, “next week, NATO Defence Ministers will meet and discuss how we can further strengthen our presence in the Eastern part of the Alliance, including with new battlegroups. And I welcome France’s offer to lead a NATO battlegroup here in Romania.”

A war would be the product not of Russian aggression but of the imperialist powers’ aggressive response to the Stalinist dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. Over the last 30 years, Washington sought to establish its global primacy by dominating the Middle East and Central Asia. NATO waged wars, notably in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria, that cost millions of lives and trillions of dollars.

Russia and, increasingly, China’s rising economic weight have become major obstacles to this strategy. In 2013, Russian warships based at Sevastopol in the Crimea confronted NATO warships that were threatening to bomb Syria, after which NATO backed down. Alongside Iran, Russia then intervened and defeated NATO-backed Islamist militias in Syria, whose government has now joined China’s “Belt and Road” global industrial infrastructure project.

In 2014, shortly after Russia helped prevent direct NATO intervention in Syria, the NATO powers backed a putsch in Kiev, where far-right militias toppled a pro-Russian Ukrainian president and set up a NATO puppet regime. As these militias backed by NATO mercenaries attacked Russian-speaking areas of Ukraine like Donbass and Crimea, these areas broke off from Ukraine, with Crimea voting to rejoin Russia. Since then, far-right Ukrainian militias have faced off against Russian troops in Crimea and Russian-backed militias in the Donbass.

NATO’s conflict with Russia has been escalating again after last year’s humiliating NATO defeat in Afghanistan. The alliance is now redeploying towards Ukraine, bidding to seize a vast swath of territory around the Black Sea, the Caucasus and the Caspian Sea. This would allow them to isolate and threaten Russia, cut off Russian military aid to the Middle East, and intervene in Central Asia up to China’s western borders. This plan is being set into motion in Ukraine.

Russian-speaking areas of Ukraine are reporting highly advanced NATO war preparations. Yesterday, Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) leader Denis Pushilin cited Biden’s call on US citizens to leave Ukraine, warning that war was imminent. “The US President, probably, given US influence in Ukraine, has information that allows him to make such statements and take such a position. … Ukraine may attack at any moment. Ukraine has everything ready for that: the concentration of forces and means makes it possible to do it at any moment, as soon as a political decision is made.”

On February 9, the DPR Militia’s Deputy Chief Eduard Basurin said Ukrainian tanks are taking positions only 15 kilometers from theirs, near Avdeyevka, Gorlovka and Novgorodskoye. Yesterday, Basurin said Ukrainian forces also deployed an S-300 missile system.

Such deployments violate the 2015 Minsk accords, which temporarily froze the Ukraine conflict and sent the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to monitor the front line. Basurin said, however, that Kiev regime forces are using electronic jamming to prevent OSCE observers from using drones to observe these deployments. “It seems that OSCE observers are quite content with a situation where it is impossible to record violations by Ukraine,” he said.

Significantly, DPR forces last month warned, based on their sources in Kiev, that they expect an attack to come as soon as Ukrainian armored assault brigades are assembled and in position.

On January 28, Basurin said: “According to our intelligence, the Ukrainian General Staff under the guidance of US advisers at the Ukrainian Defense Ministry is putting final touches to a plan for offensive operations in Donbas. The date of aggression against the people’s republics will be set when the attack groups have been created and the operation’s plan approved by Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council.”

These are conditions in which NATO could goad Russia, a nuclear power, into war. Were such an attack to begin, DPR forces would likely require Russian military assistance to avoid being overrun by far-right Ukrainian militias, which call for killing Russians and have bombed Russian-speaking Ukrainian cities near Russia’s borders. If Moscow intervened against this, however, it would provide grounds for NATO war propaganda, denouncing Russian aid to the DPR as an “invasion” of Ukraine.

The decisive question more than ever is the building of an international movement in the working class against the mounting danger of a nuclear world war. It cannot be opposed based on Russian nationalist militarism, to which imperialism offers only the alternatives of total capitulation or all-out war. The broad opposition to militarism in the working class must be mobilized on an international basis, in a struggle against imperialism and for socialism.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2022/02/12/ukra-f12.html

February 10, 2022 report: worsening situation in Ukraine; Ukrainian authorities refuse to comply with Minsk-2 agreements

Russian Federation Permanent Representative A.K. LUKASHEVICH to OSCE Permanent Council
February 10, 2022

On the deteriorating situation in Ukraine

and continued non-compliance

Ukrainian authorities of the Minsk agreements

Dear Madam President,

In recent days, we have seen a certain change in rhetoric in those countries where until recently the world was threatened with the threat of an “imminent attack” on Ukraine. Some media, such as the Bloomberg agency, managed to release fake news about the “invasion” that had already begun in the information field last Friday. Then removed. Adjusted the tone and US officials. The other day, the head of European diplomacy, J. Borrell, also said that he did not believe in a “Russian invasion” of Ukraine.

Let’s remember the zeal with which, not so long ago, representatives of a number of Western countries sought to convince everyone of the opposite. Even in this room. The terms were named: in November, in December, in January and so on. As the facts show, all these “horror stories” turned out to be nothing more than propaganda “zilch”, empty chatter.

Now let’s turn to the real situation in Ukraine. A protracted armed civil conflict continues in the country, caused and fueled by the aggressive and unceremonious interference of the West in the development of the Ukrainian state and society. In February, Ukraine will mark the eighth anniversary of the bloody 2014 armed coup d’état organized with foreign support. The coup that raised the most radical nationalist parties and movements to the firmament of Ukrainian politics, which began to aggressively impose ideas of militant nationalism and Russophobia alien to the majority of the population – all this under the guise of alleged patriotism. The uncontrolled circulation of weapons among nationalists and neo-Nazis, their desire to impose their own rules throughout the country led to a logical result: many Ukrainians opposed the artificial division of society and against the self-proclaimed authorities, who acted in conjunction with the nationalists. At that time, in the south-east of Ukraine, people began to organize themselves into people’s squads to protect their homes and a peaceful way of life from the encroachments of nationalists.

The refusal of the “Maidan” authorities from a civilized and respectful dialogue with the inhabitants of their own country led to an armed confrontation. A military operation was launched to suppress dissent. Even after signing the Minsk agreements under international control, the then leadership of Ukraine continued military planning for a “direct dialogue with the Donbass.” Dialogue with the help of artillery and mortars – in the form of shelling, casualties, destruction.

In choosing such tactics, the Ukrainian authorities were and are not independent. The notorious “external management” under which the country has fallen in recent years, saying goodbye to the remnants of state sovereignty, leaves its mark. There is no doubt that without the destructive impact from abroad, Ukrainians would be much faster able to find a common language and achieve peace among themselves. On both sides of the line of contact, relatives and friends of each other live who have fallen into the “millstones” of new political watersheds artificially imposed on the country – dividing lines introduced by geopolitical strategists from the West and other demagogues who generously distributed cookies and no less sweet ones on the “Maidan”, but empty promises.

In the midst of armed civil confrontation, instead of promoting an inclusive national dialogue for peace based on the Minsk “Package of Measures”, foreign patrons of the post-Maidan authorities decided to invest in the militarization of Ukraine. They began to send there not political signals about the need to fulfill “Minsk”, but military appropriations, equipment and weapons, shells and cartridges, with which some citizens of Ukraine continue to kill other citizens of Ukraine to this day. In a word, they began to push “hot heads” in every way to a military solution to the “Donbass problem” in the conditions of sabotage of the Minsk agreements.

Take a look at the numbers from the beginning of this year alone: ​​at least twelve aircraft each from the US and the UK, two from Canada and one from Poland arrived in Ukraine, all carrying weapons and other military supplies. The United States alone sent about 700 tons of cargo. Immediately upon the arrival of these cargoes, the United States and Great Britain, using their so-called. “instructors” began training the Ukrainian military on the combat use of the delivered missile systems, grenade launchers and other weapons in urban areas. Specific plans to send at least 100 additional troops from the British Special Forces and 200 people from the Canadian Special Operations Forces have long been no secret. If the authorities in Kiev claim that they are not preparing offensive actions or armed provocations, what is all this for? By the way, Since the beginning of the year, the SMM has already counted over 8,000 ceasefire violations in Donbas. Will there be fewer of them after such military preparations?

Eight years later, the problems in Ukraine are the same as in 2014. Radical nationalists from illegal armed groups have not been disarmed. For example, the same “Right Sector”. They continue their attempts – with the support of the current authorities – to restore their order in the east of Ukraine with “fire and sword”. Their plans do not include the observance of the ceasefire or the implementation of the Minsk agreements. The authorities, in turn, cannot or do not want to do anything about this, acting, in fact, at the same time with them.

Let us recall how, in November 2019, representatives of the nationalist battalions did not allow President V. Zelensky to disengage forces and hardware in Zolote, they did not want to leave this disengagement area with weapons. Under their pressure and at the American “prompt”, V. Zelensky at the “Norman” summit in Paris on December 9, 2019 refused to approve the plan already agreed by experts and adopted by Donetsk and Lugansk on the disengagement of forces and hardware along the entire line of contact. Having agreed in the minutes of the meeting of the Contact Group on March 11, 2020, to have a direct dialogue with the authorized representatives of certain areas of Donbass, Kiev then actually disavowed the signature under the agreements on the establishment of the Consultative Council.

It is also not surprising that the meetings of the Contact Group and its working subgroups held on February 8-9 again ended without results. They reaffirmed that Kiev does not intend to conduct a direct dialogue with Donetsk and Luhansk. On February 3, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine D. Kuleba said on the air of one of the Ukrainian TV channels that the Minsk agreements “cannot be implemented on Russian terms, which are based on a direct dialogue between Ukraine and ORDLO, which is being imposed on us.” A day earlier, he said that Donbass would not receive any special status. With these instructions, as he stressed, the representative of Ukraine will also go to today’s meeting of foreign policy advisers to the leaders of the Normandy Four in Berlin. Should we expect progress on it?

It is worth emphasizing that the need to implement the provisions of “Minsk” in consultations and in agreement with representatives of certain areas of Donbass is not some kind of “Russian conditions”, but a direct prescription of the Minsk “Package of Measures”. Once again, we draw attention to the statement of the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine A. Danilov in an interview with The Associated Press: he directly said that Kiev did not intend and is not going to implement the Minsk agreements, since their implementation “would mean the destruction of the country” .

Thus, the Ukrainian authorities, without encountering any criticism from foreign patrons, are trying to send a false signal to the Ukrainian society that the Minsk agreements are destructive in their essence, and their implementation will mean almost “surrender”.

Against this background, it is worth paying attention to what militant Ukrainian national radicals are saying today. Listen to the words of E. Karas, the leader of the infamous C14 movement – on February 5 in Kiev, at the nationalist forum Bandera Readings, he said: “We have now been given so many weapons, not because we are good, but because we are the only who is ready to carry out the tasks of the West. Because we have fun, it’s fun for us to kill and it’s fun to fight. Arguments about how “fun and cool” it is to fight with one’s own people do not find any proper legal assessment by the law enforcement agencies of Ukraine, neither politically by the country’s leadership, nor internationally, for example, within the framework of the OSCE.

New paramilitary nationalist groups continue to emerge, with the creation of a so-called “closed guerrilla network” called Honor of the Nation earlier this year, which now has about a thousand members. On February 6, under the instruction of the nationalists from the Aidar battalion, who had been in the Donbass, the members of this association, with weapons in their hands, conducted combat training exercises.

Mr Chairman,

These days, the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Polish Foreign Minister Z. Rau is visiting Ukraine, he will also visit the areas of Donbass controlled by Kiev. We regret that Z. Rau did not respond to the invitation of the representatives of Donetsk and Luhansk in the Contact Group and did not find an opportunity to get acquainted with the real state of affairs on the other side of the line of contact.

Once again, we call on the foreign curators of the current Kiev regime to refrain from fostering the ideas of aggressive nationalism in Ukraine, to stop the destabilizing militarization of this country. It should be understood that the full implementation of the Minsk “Package of Measures” of February 12, 2015, approved by UN Security Council Resolution 2202, is the only way to peacefully, politically and diplomatically resolve the conflict. The implementation of the provisions of “Minsk” in their entirety, consistency and interconnection will not be a “surrender”, but a tool for ending the armed confrontation in the east of Ukraine, achieving sustainable peace and national reconciliation, as well as restoring territorial integrity.

In particular, we remind those member states of the UN Security Council that, on February 17, 2015, joined the unanimous support of the “Package of Measures”, which implies a direct dialogue between Kiev and Donetsk and Lugansk.

Thank you for attention

https://osce.mid.ru/ru_RU/-/a-k-lukasevic-ob-uhudsausejsa-situacii-na-ukraine-i-prodolzausemsa-nevypolnenii-ukrainskimi-vlastami-minskih-dogovorennostej-10-fevrala-2022-goda?inheritRedirect=true&redirect=%2Fru_RU%2Fweb%2Fosce

January 27, 2022: Deteriorating situation in Ukraine, foreign weapon shipments arriving, Kiev sent 150,000 soldiers to Donbass — Russian OSCE representative

OSCE – Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe

A lasting and sustainable peace is possible only on the basis of the exhaustive and conscientious implementation by the parties to the conflict – Kiev, Donetsk and Luhansk – of all the provisions of the “Package of Measures” in their entirety, consistency and interconnection.

Presentation of Russian Federation Representative A.K. Lukashevich to OSCE Permanent Council
January 27, 2022

On the deteriorating situation in Ukraine and the continued failure of the Ukrainian authorities to comply with the Minsk agreements

Dear Mr Chairman,

Foreign curators of today’s Ukraine have intensified their attempts to destabilize the situation inside this country and push the Kiev regime to rash and disastrous military decisions. This becomes absolutely obvious against the background of two trends.

First. Kiev is deliberately not sent any incentives in order to implement the key provision of the Minsk agreements by the Ukrainian authorities, namely, the implementation of a direct dialogue with representatives of certain areas of Donbass on ways to politically resolve the intra-Ukrainian crisis. Simply put, they encourage further sabotage of the implementation of the “Package of Measures”. The price of such sabotage is the pain of irreparable human losses, crippled destinies and new destruction in the Donbass.

Second. Some NATO countries have sharply stepped up the “pumping” of Ukraine with offensive weapons for allegedly “defensive” purposes. Over the past week, at least four planes have arrived in Kyiv carrying US military supplies, including lethal weapons and ammunition for use in the Donbass. Earlier, shuttle British military transport aviation “registered” on the route between Kiev and the British Isles.

According to reports, hundreds of American Javelins, thousands of British missile systems, over 400,000 rounds of ammunition, including for large-caliber weapons, and much more arrived in Ukraine in January alone. There are reports that American-made weapons from the Baltic republics, howitzers from the Czech Republic, millions of rounds of ammunition from Slovakia, more than a dozen Turkish Bayraktar attack drones and so on are scheduled to be transferred in February. So, this is what support for a peaceful politico-diplomatic settlement of the crisis in Ukraine on the basis of the Minsk agreements looks like?

According to US Secretary of State E. Blinken, his country “will supply even more weapons in the near future.” Last year, the United States gave Ukraine at least $650 million in “aid” in military appropriations, many of which were used to purchase weapons that could be used offensively. In total, since 2014, the United States has “pumped up” Ukraine with such “military aid” in the amount of about $2.7 billion.

All these actions are accompanied by disinformation, or, to put it simply, fakes like the British Foreign Office created and disseminated on January 23 some plan attributed to Russia to “establish a pro-Russian regime in Ukraine.” Apparently, London could not decide which of the two myths promoted there is more attractive – about the “imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine” or about the “establishment of a pro-Russian regime”, which, obviously, does not imply any “invasion”. A number of countries hastened to make statements about the evacuation of family members of diplomats from their embassies from the territory of Ukraine. All this is obviously intended to make people believe in the most negative scenarios and sow panic.

One thing is clear: all these insinuations are an attempt to divert attention from Kiev’s failure to comply with the Minsk agreements and the actual bankruptcy of the authorities in domestic, primarily socio-economic policy.

By the way, today’s Ukraine, which has experienced almost eight years of external control, is increasingly reminiscent of a serious patient on an “artificial lung ventilation” machine. Its economy cannot survive without manual loans, called “financial support.” So, on January 24, it was announced that the European Union would allocate another package in the amount of 1.2 billion euros. Or, for example, Canada’s decision two days earlier to issue a loan of $120 million. There are many examples of the provision of urgent loans for “patching holes” in the Ukrainian economy, we will not remember them all.

Remarkable moment. “Horror stories about the invasion”, sounding primarily from the United States, are not shared even in the leadership of Ukraine, urging them not to sow panic. Over the past week, President V. Zelensky, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council A. Danilov, Minister of Defense A. Reznikov, official representative of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry O. Nikolenko, head of the faction of the ruling party in parliament D. Arakhamia and others spoke on this subject. A. Danilov back in November of last year called such rumors “deliberate disinformation” within the framework of “information-psychological special operations”, and the other day he asked journalists to “slow down the heat”. Not to mention their concern about the worsening macroeconomic situation in the country and the investment climate as a result of military hysteria from the West.

Despite all this, in the United States, both from the lips of officials and representatives, and through the state-controlled media, they continue to call the statements of representatives of the Ukrainian authorities “contradictory”, assuring that they see “all signs of preparations for hostilities” in the coming weeks. It is no coincidence that recently a number of Ukrainian parliamentarians demanded an assessment of the actions of an employee of the US Embassy in Ukraine, E. Kravtsiv, in whose actions they saw “war propaganda”. As E. Kravtsiv herself previously reported, she, along with other employees of the American embassy, ​​intends to explain to Ukrainians “the inevitability of war with Russia” and distribute some manuals.

At the same time, it is no less remarkable that, while talking about the absence of an imaginary threat of “invasion” from abroad, the military-political leadership of Ukraine continues to build up a military group not just anywhere, but along the line of contact in Donbass. About 150,000 servicemen are already near it. Recently, the Minister of Defense of Ukraine A. Reznikov announced an increase in the number of the Armed Forces of Ukraine by another 11,000 people. Arrive in the Donbass and representatives of paramilitary nationalist formations. Including the “Right Sector”, which was never disarmed in accordance with clause 10 of the Minsk “Package of Measures”. All this testifies to the active study in Kiev of plans for the preparation of armed provocations in the Donbass.

We are concerned about the presence of foreigners near the contact line – professional military personnel under the guise of “instructors”, as well as employees of private military companies, mercenaries and other persons. We paid attention to the Sky News material released on January 25, which showed footage of the stay in the area of ​​the settlement. Pavlopol, Donetsk region, armed “contract soldiers” J. Wood and S. Pinner, who arrived in Ukraine from Great Britain.

Under these conditions, a special role falls on the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, its capabilities in the framework of early warning of a dangerous escalation. It is necessary to carefully monitor the supply and movement of military equipment and weapons, establish cases of their placement in violation of the withdrawal lines, track the facts of their use, and timely record the destruction of civilian objects as a result of shelling. Strong efforts must be made, primarily for humanitarian purposes, to restore communication between representatives of the parties to the conflict and restart the mechanism for providing security guarantees, curtailed as a result of offensive actions by the Ukrainian military last autumn. All this, of course, without prejudice to the monitoring of the SMM in the rest of the country within the framework of mandated tasks.

On January 26, a video meeting of the Contact Group was held. On the same day, foreign policy advisers to the leaders of the Normandy Four countries held a contact in Paris. Diplomatic efforts were aimed at giving impetus to the implementation of the Minsk agreements. We regret that on both tracks this time again it was not possible to achieve practical results. Kiev continues its undisguised sabotage of the Minsk settlement process – first of all, by not providing any answers to the numerous proposals of Donetsk and Luhansk on the implementation of the “Package of Measures” of February 12, 2015, approved by UN Security Council Resolution 2202. In addition, Ukraine’s line of marginalization of the Contact Group, attempts to address issues within its competence to the “Normandy format” are obvious.

As has been repeatedly noted, Kiev’s key commitment under the Minsk Package of Measures is a direct dialogue with the representatives of Donetsk and Luhansk on all aspects of the settlement, including the special status of Donbass. Nevertheless, going to the meeting in the Normandy format, the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Oleksandr Yermak defiantly announced that Kiev did not intend to fulfill the specific requirements of the Minsk agreements and specific Normandy agreements. Describing the events of recent days, he assessed them as “raising the stakes in order to persuade Ukraine to an amnesty and the F.-W. Steinmeier formula.” And then he added: “This will not happen.” Do I need to remind you that the amnesty is provided for in clause 5 of the “Complex of Measures”, and “the formula of F.-V. -Steinmeier” should be integrated into Ukrainian legislation in accordance with the final documents of the summit of the leaders of the “Normandy Four” on December 9, 2019? The above-mentioned actions of representatives of Ukraine are spinning the situation in a very dangerous spiral, fraught with a new flare-up of an armed conflict.

A few words about the work of the Normandy format. Undoubtedly, he can and must play a constructive role in promoting a settlement. However, this format will be effective only when there is an agreed understanding and interpretation of the Minsk agreements among its participants. Without eliminating the current discrepancies regarding the perception of the Minsk agreements, the Normandy format will not be able to send constructive signals to the Contact Group, which is the main work on the implementation of the Minsk Package of Measures.

Under these conditions, we call on the external curators of the authorities in Kiev to stop the destabilizing militarization of Ukraine and provide all possible assistance to the political and diplomatic way out of the crisis in this country. A lasting and sustainable peace is possible only on the basis of the exhaustive and conscientious implementation by the parties to the conflict – Kiev, Donetsk and Luhansk – of all the provisions of the “Package of Measures” in their entirety, consistency and interconnection.

https://osce.mid.ru/ru_RU/-/a-k-lukasevic-ob-uhudsausejsa-situacii-na-ukraine-i-prodolzausemsa-nevypolnenii-ukrainskimi-vlastami-minskih-dogovorennostej-27-anvara-2022-goda?inheritRedirect=true&redirect=%2Fru_RU%2Fweb%2Fosce

February 12: Seven years since Kiev, Donetsk, Lugansk signed Minsk-2 Package of Measures — the only way to peace

Russian Federation Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova
Moscow,
February 9, 2022

Ukraine Update

February 12 will mark seven years since Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk, with the Russian and OSCE mediation and the assistance of the Normandy format, signed the Package of Measures, which has become the only basis, one that has no alternative, for the settlement of the internal Ukrainian crisis. After being approved by UN Security Council Resolution 2202, it has become part of international law, binding for all parties involved.

I would like to remind you that seven years ago, the parties to the conflict agreed to observe a ceasefire, withdraw their forces from the line of contact, grant Donbass a special status within Ukraine and an amnesty for its residents, carry out a constitutional reform with a focus on decentralisation, restoration of socioeconomic ties, and exchange of detained persons. Regrettably, none of this has been implemented. Kiev continues to sabotage its commitments, often demonstrating this in public with the tacit consent of its Western patrons.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba has made a number of notorious statements recently, declaring that “there will be no special status, as visualised by Russia, no veto right.” He has also alleged that the Minsk accords do not envisage a dialogue with Donetsk and Lugansk.  I would like to inquire whether he can read. The Minsk accords are not some oral commitments; they exist as a text, this text is available, and it can be perused. Instead of claiming anything of the sort, Ukraine had better reread the Package of Measures.

I would like to respond once again to what he said, I quote: “There will be nothing of the kind, as visualised by Russia.” Russia visualises it exactly as it is written down, and it would be fine if the other parties to and signatories of the agreements, and the participants in the process itself proceeded from the text rather than their vision. Basically, it is a wonderful practice for all those who profess law. It is better to rely on the spirit and the letter of the law rather than engage in interpretations thereby sinking back into the times about which our common Russian-Ukrainian proverb says: “Every law has a loophole.”  No! This text was not bequeathed to us by the past generations, with which we are no longer in contact because of the centuries that separate our epochs. The whole thing was done by the active and now living participants in the political process. It was recorded by TV cameras and explained after the signing by Ukrainian officials, among others. It would be good to show to Mr Kuleba, in particular, the video with comments by President Petr Poroshenko and his Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin, who were speaking about a “breakthrough” Ukraine had achieved on the diplomatic track by signing these documents. They also explained in no uncertain terms what was written in the documents and how to interpret them, i.e., exactly as it was committed to paper. So, shall we look for the Poroshenko-Klimkin video or will you find it on your own? We don’t mind sharing. So, once again, returning to the Package of Measures: it states directly the need to discuss and coordinate with Donbass the issues concerning its future.   

Unfortunately, we know who is encouraging Ukraine’s disdainful attitude towards the Package of Measures. This is being done by those who are actively operating, rather than merely standing behind Kiev’s back. Of course, we are talking about US handlers. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the other day that it was possible to implement the provisions of the Minsk agreements only if their due order of priority was selected. It is strange that the United States is trying to find an order of priority in a document that clearly sets forth the entire sequence of all the parties’ steps. What is the point of looking for this order of priority? It is necessary to read the document that stipulates everything. These statements, especially their synchronised nature, show one thing: the United States is in favour of revising the Package of Measures, and this may wreck the peace process. All this inspires the Kiev regime to continue treating its own population in a negative manner in the first place, and to continue disregarding international law and common sense, and so on. Unfortunately, we do not hear an adequate response to statements by Ukrainian leaders, including those on the part of the US Department of State, from Germany and France, our colleagues in the Normandy format.

All these double standards of our European colleagues were confirmed this week. Our European colleagues voice their readiness to facilitate a peace settlement and speak about a certain de-escalation. They are urging everyone to do anything, but, in reality, they are providing Kiev with weapons and ignoring the sufferings of Donbass residents.  On February 7 and8, the foreign ministers of Germany, Austria, Slovakia and the Czech Republic visited the line of contact. This appears to be a noble mission, and the process, advocated by us, has apparently got underway. We are saying all the time that they should go there, see the situation, speak with the people and form an unbiased opinion without the help of their own media outlets, which they themselves provide with all kinds of methodological recommendations and theses. And so, helmeted Western diplomats clad in bulletproof vests rode towards the line of contact. But there is one problem and nuance: they visited an area controlled by Kiev and, for some reason, did not go any further. And I would say that the most tragic, if not interesting, developments are taking place there. Although many international experts, including OSCE observers, are working in the region, Western representatives are painstakingly turning a blind eye on what is happening in Donbass. They simply don’t see these developments and avoid visiting Donetsk and Lugansk. But, if they were in the vicinity, why didn’t they use this opportunity and speak with the people? I had a conversation with Western journalists the other day, and I asked the same question as Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. During his interviews and news conferences with Western journalists and while replying to their question about the domestic Ukrainian crisis, he asks them why they don’t go to Donbass. Why do they ask indirect questions, and why do they describe the situation without any first-hand knowledge? What is the problem? We have heard a lot. One of the most surprising and widespread replies is that it is dangerous there.

Our British colleagues compared Russia’s current alleged escalation of the situation regarding Ukraine with the situation in the North Caucasus in the 1990s. I recall that period quite well. They deemed it possible to draw analogies with those developments. Consequently, we should remind them that quite a few journalists, politicians and activists from these countries in Western and Eastern Europe and the United States visited the counter-terrorist operation’s zone then. That was fraught with real, not hypothetical, dangers because terrorists and militants abducted those journalists and public activists and demanded a ransom for them. I am talking about numerous, rather than isolated, incidents. Tremendous ransoms were paid, and journalists later described their own treatment in their books. You should read those books. I read them and was deeply impressed. If the British party considers it possible to draw such analogies, then it would be appropriate to do the same in other areas. We should ask why Western society does not speak with Donbass representatives, why it does not discuss human rights, and why its news reports do not begin with headlines about a humanitarian disaster in Donbass. I believe that it is high time this was done. They are interested in all the regions of the world to which the countries of their accreditation do not belong. Indeed, it is a noble business to cover the situation in all corners of our planet. Those living in the United States are concerned about the Uyghurs, and UK residents always ask questions about Myanmar. But there is one little nuance here: the UK and Ukraine are located on the European continent. One way or another, they are neighbours in terms of common European space, rather than geographic proximity. Why is London concerned about the human rights situation thousands and tens of thousands of kilometres away from the UK, and why do they begin their news reports with human rights matters? They forget about these human rights when this concerns their direct neighbour on the European continent and a country that has accepted all Western values. Does this not also concern Germany, the Czech Republic and other countries? Please don’t be afraid. The line of contact is not a red line for you, and you should cross it, you should pay attention to local residents and show respect for these people who have been suffering for many years because you once inspired Ukrainian politicians to stage an unconstitutional coup.

The West continues to supply weapons and military equipment to one of the parties to the conflict – Kiev. Earlier this week, Sweden and the Netherlands joined the list of countries supporting the Kiev regime’s aggressive, militarist approaches and principles. As you may know, if one is for peace, one is pumped full of weapons. On February 8, the Armed Forces of Ukraine (VSU) launched nationwide command-and-staff exercises, Metel-2022 (Snowstorm-2022). (I hope they will not end in the same way as Alexander Pushkin described in his short story “The Snowstorm.”) So, the troops will be trained to use the NLAW and Javelin antitank missile systems supplied by the UK and the US, respectively, as well as Turkish Bayraktar drones.

We are certain that the de-escalation in Ukraine, which our Western partners have been discussing so much, can be achieved very quickly. For this, they should stop weapon deliveries to Ukraine, withdraw their military advisers and instructors, discontinue joint VSU-NATO exercises, and pull out all earlier supplied foreign armaments to locations beyond the Ukrainian territory. Since the Western world is focused on Ukraine, it should start with the implementation of the Minsk agreements.

To strengthen regional security in the broad sense, NATO ought to announce that it is renouncing its open-doors policy. Kiev, for its part, should return to the neutral, non-bloc status enshrined in the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Ukraine of July 16, 1990. The need to implement this Declaration is sealed by the Act of Declaration of Independence of Ukraine of August 24, 1991. The now effective 1996 Constitution of Ukraine contains a provision to the effect that in approving the Fundamental Law the Verkhovna Rada was guided by the said Act.

We call on everyone to stop the artificial fomenting of tensions in and around Ukraine and take practical steps aimed at achieving a real de-escalation and settlement of the Donbass conflict on the no-alternative basis of the Package of Measures. We hope that today’s online meeting of the Contact Group and the upcoming contacts between the political advisers of the Normandy format leaders will lead to positive shifts in the process of peaceful settlement of the internal Ukrainian conflict.   

https://www.mid.ru/en/press_service/spokesman/briefings/1797611/

Is the US Preparing a Chemical Attack in Eastern Ukraine?

From South Front

December 22, 2021

Moscow has recently taken the first step towards the rapprochement with Washington. Russia outlined an eight-point draft treaty of security guarantees aimed to lower tensions in Europe and defuse the crisis over Ukraine. The demands include ending Ukraine’s path towards NATO membership, limiting the deployment of troops and weapons close to Russia’s borders, and a halt to NATO’s eastward expansion.

Russian officials stressed that Moscow wants to begin negotiations “without delays and without stalling”, emphasizing that this is not some kind of ultimatum, but seriousness of their warning should not be underestimated. It was highlighted that ignoring Moscow’s request for discussions could lead to a “military response” similar to the 1962 Cuban missile crisis.

Vladimir Putin claimed that Russia will not be satisfied if Western partners want to “chat up” negotiations on security guarantees.

In her turn, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki claimed that there’s no reason the U.S. can’t do that, but it is going to do that in partnership and coordination with its European partners. Washington reportedly disagrees with parts of Moscow’s proposal, but is willing to discuss its content.The Ukrainian Powder Keg and the Fuse

Unfortunately, there have been no official calls from Washington to launch the negotiation process yet. All the claims remain within diplomatic rhetoric. In fact, neither the United States nor NATO are changing their aggressive policy towards Russia.

On December 21, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda called on NATO to increase its military capabilities in Eastern Europe as well as cooperation between the member countries to confront the threat from the East.

According to recent statements by some of its top officers, the Western military alliance plans to deploy troops in Romania and Bulgaria as a way to strengthen the current “security scheme” for Ukraine.

The offensive claims are accompanied by military aggression in Eastern Ukraine.

On December 21, the civilian settlement of Alexandrovka in the Donetsk People’s Republic was shelled with 20 rounds from the 120 mm mortars of the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF).

Russian Defense Minister General of the Army Sergei Shoigu confirmed that the number of the UAF attacks on civilians in Donbass and the positions of the DPR, LPR People’s militias is not decreasing, provoking local fighters to retaliate.

Sergei Shoigu revealed that more than 120 US PMCs were identified in the settlements of Avdiivka and Priazovskoye in the Donetsk region. They equip firing positions in residential buildings and social facilities; preparing for UAF operations as well as radical armed groups to increase hostilities.

Along with support preparing the attacks, the U.S. PMCs are preparing a chemical attack in Donbass. Russian Defence Minister claimed that tanks with unidentified chemical components were delivered to the settlement of Avdiivka and the village of Krasny Liman to commit provocations.

In practice, as winter has come, the situation in Eastern Ukraine revealed its dependence on fluctuations in natural gas prices. When the price increases, the situation worsens.

On December 21, the price of gas in Europe in the course of exchange trading broke another historical record and came up to $ 2,228 per thousand cubic meters. According to various experts, a rise to $2,500 and even up to $3,000 should be expected if there are no signals about the imminent launch of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Only a sharp increase in supply may change the situation in Europe.This is possible only with the conclusion of additional contracts with Russia for gas imports and the launch of Nord Stream 2.

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https://www.globalresearch.ca/chaos-europe-us-military-contractors-prepare-chemical-attack-ukraine/5765293

Video shows Ukrainian soldiers violating ceasefire with French weapons

From Donbass Insider
22 November 2021

n a video published on TikTok, showing them violating the ceasefire in the Donbass, Ukrainian soldiers accidentally reveal that they have French weapons in their possession. The presence of these weapons is all the more disturbing as France is the guarantor of the Minsk agreements, and therefore of the peaceful resolution of the conflict.

The analysis of the numerous videos published on TikTok by Ukrainian soldiers stationed in the Donbass, showing them firing, not only confirms that they are violating the ceasefire, but also sometimes reveals even more interesting information.

For example, on 20 November 2021, a video showing Ukrainian soldiers firing machine guns and then rocket launchers was posted on Tiktok [A]

The soldiers in the video are soldiers of the 128th Mountain Assault Brigade of the Ukrainian Army [1], as shown by the chevron on the guy on the right, firing a rocket launcher.

Chevron - 128e brigade des FAU - Patch - 128th brigade AFU

At first sight the video may seem quite banal, the guys are filming themselves shooting against a background of pro-Ukrainian songs. The keywords associated with the video show that the account that published it belongs to a Ukrainian neo-Nazi, since next to the famous “Glory to Ukraine” we can read “Bandera our father”. When one attributes a Nazi collaborator as one’s spiritual father, there is little doubt about the ideology of the person who did it. The keywords also indicate that the video was filmed in the area of the Joint Forces Operation, i.e. in the Donbass.

No, where it gets really interesting is when you look at the details of the video more closely. Indeed, at 3 seconds and then at 6 seconds we clearly see on the left side of the picture a rocket launcher that does not look like the RPG, nor the Javelin, that Ukraine now boasts of having used for the first time in the Donbass [2]. No, the rocket launcher visible between the two Ukrainian soldiers in the picture is none other than an APILAS [3]: a French anti-tank rocket launcher!

APILAS

Clearly, this video shows that the Ukrainian soldiers stationed in the Donbass have French weapons at their disposal! The question that immediately arises is how they obtained them.

Either the Ukrainian soldiers stationed in the Donbass were able to obtain these French weapons from jihadists coming from Syria [4](and there too the question arises as to how they were able to obtain them) via the links between Ukrainian neo-Nazis and Islamist terrorists, or France secretly sold these weapons to Ukraine, in complete violation of its role as guarantor of the Minsk agreements.

For France cannot be both a guarantor of agreements allowing for a peaceful resolution of the conflict, and at the same time provide Ukrainian soldiers with French weapons, which only aggravate the escalation in the Donbass.

However, in March, 2021, the LPR People’s Militia announced that France had reached an agreement with Ukraine to supply 60 APILAS rocket launchers to be deployed in the Donbass [5], after Ukrainian soldiers had tested the weapon for two months.

It seems that France secretly sold these weapons to Ukraine, in order to help Ukrainian soldiers continue their killing game in the Donbass, while publicly claiming to want the conflict to be resolved peacefully by implementing the Minsk agreements. This is perhaps the famous “at the same time” that Emmanuel Macron has been applying since the beginning of his presidency.

Christelle Néant

[A] tiktok[dot]com/@vov4ik.myrjak/video/7032325778884791557

[1] en.wikipedia[dot]org/wiki/128th_Mountain_Assault_Brigade_(Ukraine)

[2] gordonua[dot]com/news/war/glava-gur-minoborony-ukrainy-zayavil-chto-ukrainskie-voennye-primenyali-javelin-na-donbasse-smi-1582516.html

[3] en.wikipedia[dot]org/wiki/APILAS

[4] armamentresearch[dot]com/french-apilas-anti-tank-weapon-in-syria/

[5] lug-info[dot]com/news/kiev-postavit-iz-frantsii-granatomety-dlya-diversii-vsu-v-zone-oos-narodnaya-militsiya-65319

Intensifying attacks on Donbass, Poroshenko requested help compiling evidence of Russian aggression for Munich speech

From Fort-Russ

By Tom Winter
February 19, 2019

Novorosinform reports this: President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko ordered to prepare “evidence” of shelling from the Donbass and Russian side for an accusation against Moscow during his speech at the Munich Security Conference. This was announced by the head of the press service of the People’s Police of the DPR, Daniel Bezsonov.

“According to the information we have, Poroshenko ordered the command of the occupying forces to prepare for him a false evidence base, which he could use to initiate new sanctions against the Russian Federation during his speech at the Munich Security Conference. As conceived by puppeteers from Washington, Poroshenko should appear before the world community in the form of an “innocent lamb,” he said.

“We express our sincere hope that the leadership of the OSCE will not go in the wake of Poroshenko and his owners, but will strictly follow the unshakable European principles and impartially fulfill their functional duties,” the head of the press service of the DPR army added.

Recall that as a result of today’s shelling by the Armed Forces of Ukraine against the DPR, three houses, a gas pipeline and a car are damaged. Yesterday in Donbass, two Right Sector and Azov platoons   arrived.

Continue reading

Captured Ukrainian soldiers say offensive planned for World Cup

From Fort Russ

By Paul Antonopoulos
May 24, 2018

Ukrainian soldiers captured by the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said in statements on Wednesday that Kiev might launch an offensive against Donbass during the upcoming 2018 World Cup held in Russia.

According to reports, two captured Ukrainian soldiers, Vasily Zhimilinsky and Vitaly Chmil explained the circumstances in which they were captured and answered questions from reporters. The two soldiers confirmed that they were not pressured by the Donetsk side.

“We were told that an offensive would begin either on the eve of the presidential election in Russia, when the snow melted and the earth dried up, or during the World Cup.”

The captured soldiers even revealed that “there was an order and it was all a matter of receiving more ammunition and fuel … The captain also told us that before the offensive, Javelin anti-tank missile systems would be delivered to every unit on the front line.”

Chmil confirmed suspicions that Ukrainian forces are readying for an offensive against Donbass defense forces. The two captured soldiers confirmed the presence of artillery systems at the Ukrainian army’s frontline positions.

One of the captured soldiers was declared a deserter by the high command of the Ukrainian military, although both soldiers were captured on the battlefield, but at different times and in different sectors on the contact line.

The conflict in Donbas began in 2014 when Ukrainian authorities launched a military operation against the self-proclaimed People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, who refused to recognize the new government in Kiev which came to power after a US-backed coup.

The official Minsk Agreements have done little to prevent constant Ukrainian forays and bombardments. The Donbass republics have persistently accused Ukraine of provocations and violating the Minsk Agreements, whereas Kiev habitually claims that the Donbass militias and “Russian occupation forces” alleged to be in the area are shooting at themselves and blaming Ukraine.

https://www.fort-russ.com/2018/05/captured-ukrainian-soldiers-say-offensive-planned-for-world-cup/

Ukraine moves heavy forces up to Donbass frontline. Is war around the corner?

From Fort-Russ

April 30, 2018 – Fort Russ News –

By Eduard Popov, translated by Jafe Arnold –

On Sunday, April 29th, disturbing news came from the frontline in Donbass. The official spokesman of the People’s Militia of the Lugansk People’s Republic, Major Andrey Marochko, cited intelligence data from Ukraine’s forward positions that the Ukrainian Armed Forces are moving heavy arms and troops up to the frontline.

According to Marochko, a train convoy of four wagons loaded with military vehicles and UAF soldiers arrived at the Kiev-controlled town of Rubezhnoe. Nine infantry fighting vehicles, two Grad multiple rocket launcher systems, and 200 UAF troops were “delivered.” Meanwhile, Marochko also reported, another company of troops from the Ukrainian National Guard’s Poltava battalion has been deployed to the town of Belovodsk.

At the same time, Ukrainian troops have continued to violate the ceasefire in Donbass. On April 26th, the UAF shelled the city of Dokuchaevsk in the Donetsk People’s Republic, killing two civilians and one DPR soldier.

According to my sources on the LPR frontline, UAF logistics infrastructure has been expanded throughout the Ukrainian-controlled Lugansk territories. In particular, military hospitals have been set up, and my sources say that preparatory work on organizing civilian hospitals for receiving wounded has also been noted.

There are no signs of inevitability that full-scale war will break out in Donbass in the coming days, but it cannot be ruled out. By pulling up troops to the frontline and preparing its logistical infrastructure, Ukraine is obviously preparing the preconditions for such.

My opinion remains that Kiev will attack not when it decides that the time is ripe for an offensive, but when the West gives the command. These days, it is becoming increasingly widespread to claim that the Ukrainians might go on the offensive ahead of the World Cup, the inauguration of President Putin, or Victory Day. Indeed, these are suitable political timings, but so were the Russian presidential elections on March 17th, yet there was no attack.

My sources in the military circles of the Lugansk People’s Republic told me in early March that they did not expect a Ukrainian attack ahead of the Russian presidential elections simply because of weather conditions preventing tank movements – whether heavy snow or the water runoffs from melting snow. In their opinion, a Ukrainian offensive would be possible no earlier than late April or May, i.e. now.

Now, as we can see, all the preconditions for a Ukrainian blitzkrieg are ripe or being prepared. Only one conditions, perhaps the most important factor, remains: geopolitics. A UAF offensive on Donbass would inevitably lead to a conflict between Russia and the West. This would be an extremely costly development. Hence why I would refrain from volunteering any unequivocal answer as to whether or not war is around the corner. Rather, we should continue to closely monitor both specific local developments and the larger geopolitical picture.

Eduard Popov is a Rostov State University graduate with a PhD in history and philosophy. In 2008, he founded the Center for Ukrainian Studies of the Southern Federal University of Russia, and from 2009-2013, he was the founding head of the Black Sea-Caspian Center of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, an analytical institute of the Presidential Administration of Russia. In June 2014, Popov headed the establishment of the Representative Office of the Donetsk People’s Republic in Rostov-on-Don and actively participated in humanitarian aid efforts in Donbass. In addition to being Fort Russ’ guest analyst since June, 2016, Popov is currently the leading research fellow of the Institute of the Russian Abroad and the founding director of the Europe Center for Public and Information Cooperation. 

https://www.fort-russ.com/2018/04/ukraine-moves-heavy-forces-up-to-donbass-frontline-is-war-around-the-corner/