Once again Putin the chessmaster, makes a decisive move. While the U.S. planned a war for Russia, and then massively promoted it, he didn’t take the bait. It was expected that he would invade Donbas to protect Russian civilians, but instead, he has endorsed temporarily moving them into Russia for safekeeping. And then, if the Ukrainians want to fight for the U.S., like a cockfight, really, let them go for it.. [jb]
UPDATED REPORT ON KIEV’S WAR IN DONBAS
February 20th, 2022
- Dangerous plan
The intelligence of the Donetsk People’s Republic (UPR) has obtained a plan for the offensive of the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) in the Donbas, the main purpose of which is to oust the Russian-speaking population from the territory. This was stated at a briefing by the deputy head of the People’s Militia Department of the DPR Eduard Basurin.
“The purpose of the Ukrainian offensive operation is to “clean up” the territory of the people’s republics from the Russian-speaking population, bumping it out into the territory of Russia, and gaining control over the entire territory of the people’s republics,” he said.
In his words, the UAF plan provides for the encirclement and blocking of large cities in Donbas: Donetsk, Lugansk, Gorlovka and Alchevsk.
- Kiev seeks NW
Speaking at the Munich security conference on February 19, Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky pointed out that in 1994 Ukraine joined the Budapest Memorandum and gave up its nuclear weapons [NW] in exchange for security guarantees, suggesting the move could be reversed.
Note: Such statement has not been criticized at the 2022 Munich Security Conference.
- Ceasefire violations: latest report
The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) daily report # 39/2022 issued on 19 February 2022 admitted that:
(a) in Donetsk region, the SMM recorded 591 ceasefire violations, including 553 explosions. In the previous reporting period, it recorded 222 ceasefire violations in the region.
(b) in Luhansk region, the SMM recorded 975 ceasefire violations, including 860 explosions. In the previous reporting period, it recorded 648 ceasefire violations in the region.
So, there have been total 1556 ceasefire violations, or 1.78 times more than a day before (870 violations).
- The UAF aggression continues
According to the DPR, the Ukrainian military continued shelling at the settlements of the DPR and LPR from 122-mm artillery systems, 120 and 82-mm mortars, machine-gun and automatic grenade launchers. 27cities and other populated sites have been shelled by indiscriminate UAF fire.
“As of 5:00 p. m. [15:00 GMT February 19], the enemy opened fire 39 times on the DPR territory… launching 424 shells and mines. Areas of 21 settlements in the DPR came under fire. Various types of grenade launchers and small arms were also used. In total, more than 627 shells, mines and grenades were fired on the DPR territory,” the militia said in a statement.
Earlier in the night of February 20, Kiev forces had fired twelve 120-mm caliber mines at the city of Donetsk and four 122-mm shells at the settlement of Oleksandrivka located in Donetsk suburbs. Several other settlements in DPR were also shelled in the early hours of February 20 using grenades and mines prohibited by the Minsk agreement (paragraph 2).
Defenders of Donbas have not crossed the line of disengagement all these days when the UAF started military invasion vs Donbas.Russia believes that to de-escalate the situation around Ukraine, “it is fundamentally important” to implement an array of steps, including the halt of arms supplies to Ukraine, the recall of all Western advisers and instructors from there, and NATO countries’ refusal to hold any joint exercises with the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Kiev regime prevents 400 foreign newsmen to visit areas adjacent the line of disengagement between Donbas and Ukraine to conceal the UAF attacks.
According to the UNO, during two armed aggressions conducted by Ukrainian Armed Forces in 2014-2015, and later about 14,000 civilians in Donbas have been killed. Moscow will send to Berlin and Washington a dossier describing investigation of massive graves found in DPR and LPR filled with people killed by the UAF by shots and heavy devices. More than 80 such graves with group killings have been found so far.
On February 20, 2022 two civilians have been killed, several persons have been wounded, five living houses have been destroyed in Donbas by the UAF.
During current Ukrainian armed invasion in Donbas the UAF is still shelling civilian infrastructure and terrorizing the peaceful population in Donbas in order to complicate living conditions for the Donbas people.
The EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell says the European Union condemns the shelling of civilian areas in southeastern Ukraine (Donbas), but sees no proof that Kiev is preparing an attack against Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics. “The EU condemns the use of heavy weaponry and indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas, which constitute a clear violation of the Minsk agreements and international humanitarian law,” Borrell said in February 20 statement.
At the same time, he claimed that: “The EU sees no grounds for allegations coming from the non-governmental controlled areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of a possible Ukrainian attack.” Blatant lie.
Russia still believes that to de-escalate the situation around Ukraine, it is fundamentally important to implement an array of steps, including the halt of arms supplies to Ukraine, the recall of all Western advisers and instructors from there, and NATO countries’ refusal to hold any joint exercises with the UAF.
- Influx of refugees
A total of 16,747 people have been evacuated since yesterday” [February 19], the LPR announced. As of Saturday morning [February 20], around 25,000 people have crossed the border with Russia from the LPR side.
Acting head of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Russia Alexander Chupriyan said that totally more than 40,000 refugees from Donbass have already arrived in Russia.
Nevertheless, still too many “Thomas the Unbeliver” in NATO assert that it is not true.
Note: The issue of current refugees from Donbas has not been debated at the Munich Security Conference at all.
- Holders of Russian passports in Donbas
As of February 15, 2022, the number of Russian citizens holding Russian passports who live in the DNR and the LPR is 775,620 people.
Another 170 thousand people are still undergoing the procedure of obtaining citizenship.
The number of residents of Donbass who have applied for Russian citizenship, according to the latest data, is about 950 thousand people.
Ukraine and Donbas accuse each other of heavy shelling
17 February, 2022
The reports came through after the Kremlin claimed the risk of conflict in the region remained high.
Heavy fire and explosions have been reported on the contact line in Ukraine’s war-torn Donbass region, with Kiev’s forces and those loyal to the two breakaway self-declared republics accusing each other of aggression hours after the Kremlin warned fresh fighting could be on the cards.
Leaders from Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) in the east of Ukraine reported on Thursday [17 February, 2022] that government troops had attacked the outskirts of its territory. According to the DPR, units from Kiev fired at several towns and villages using 82 millimeter mortars, hand grenades, and rifles.
The Ukrainian Armed Forces subsequently reported that a settlement located near the Lugansk People’s Republic, the other breakaway territory in the region, had been attacked and photographs circulating online purport to show a kindergarten hit by a shell on the side controlled by government forces. Authorities stated that two civilians had been injured, missiles had hit the school, and half the area had lost electricity. The residents were evacuated.
Kiev has been locked in a (frozen, recently) civil war with the two breakaway territories since 2014, when separatists declared independent republics following the ousting of then-President Viktor Yanukovych during mass street protests. Ukrainian officials, along with Western countries, have accused Russia of supporting the rebels and fueling the conflict.
Moscow denies being a party to the war, and does not officially recognize the Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk People’s Republic as independent states.
This week, however, the Russian parliament voted in favor of a motion addressed to President Vladimir Putin that called for Russia to announce its support for the independence of Donetsk and Lugansk, with 351 legislators backing the draft proposal and just 16 opposing. Putin has said that he favors a diplomatic solution and believes the Minsk agreements should be honored, but is yet to respond formally to the proposal.
On Wednesday [16 February, 2022], Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov claimed that it was quite likely that Ukraine would seek a military solution to the conflict. “The attention of our interlocutors is drawn to the fact that a military operation and an attempt to resolve problems with the use of force in the southeast are quite real,” he stated. “This probability is high and real.”
Breakaway Ukrainian region orders evacuation
Civilians must flee from rebel-held Donetsk region to Russia, its head says
18 February, 2022
Ukrainian troops have been bolstered with arms supplies from Western nations and “are now prepositioned for combat and ready to take Donbass by force,” Denis Pushilin claimed in a statement on Friday, referring to his region and fellow breakaway entity, the Lugansk People’s Republic, by their collective name.
The Ukrainian rebels are expecting President Volodymyr Zelensky to order an offensive “in the nearest future.” Their military forces are prepared to fight, but civilians in rebel-controlled areas are at risk of being caught in the crossfire, the head of the Donetsk People’s Republic warned.
“That is why starting today, February 18, a mass evacuation of people to the Russian Federation has been organized,” he said, adding that vulnerable groups like women, children, and the elderly would be given priority.
Pushilin said Russian officials in the neighboring Rostov Region are expecting an inflow of evacuees and will provide them with what they need. There will be conditions at border crossings to expedite the process, he added. He urged people “to heed to the warning and take the right decision,” saying that the relocation would be temporary and would save lives.
Lugansk like Donetsk has also asked all citizens of the region except military men to leave it for Russia urgently. Russian Emergency Situations Minister has been instructed to fly promptly to Rostov Oblast near Donbas.
Additional information (Vladimir Kozin)
1/ Ukrainian Armed Forces started a large-scale shelling of Donbas since February 16, 2022. They are using 122-mm MRLS Grad, 120-mm and 82-mm heavy artillery and mortars, etc. prohibited by the Minsk agreement. Firing started along the 400 km entire line of disengagement.
2/ In doing so Ukrainian Armed Forces has violated the 2020 ceasefire agreement with Donbas: February 14=274 times, February 15= 154 times, February 16=591 times, February 17=500 times and February 18 (during the first half of the day)=more than 300 times.
3/ Civilian targets like buildings, heavy-duty roads, railroads, electricity supply towers in Donbas are now destroyed by the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
4/ Ukrainian Armed Forces arranged a provocation by claiming that a kindergarten has been hit by Donbas fire (see please attached slides). Donbas has never done such act.
5/Kiev Special Forces failed to destroy chemical plant in Donbas producing chlorine.
So far, the USA and its NATO allies have supplied Kiev with 1,500 ton of arms and ammunition
*Featured Image: Photos of damage from mortar attacks against Donbas ~Southfront
Dr. Vladimir Kozin
- Member, Russian Academy of Military Sciences
- Member, Russian Academy of Natural Sciences,
- Vice President, Russian National Institute for Global Security Research
Winner of Colonel-General Varfolomei Korobushin Reward (Russian Strategic Missiles Forces) and Russian Academy of Natural Sciences Reward
Leading Expert, Center for Military-Political Studies, Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO)
Ph.D, Senior Researcher (Academic Rank