The main reason for the slippage in the peaceful settlement of the conflict in the Donbass was the unconstructive position of Kiev, which again manifested itself in a breakdown in the withdrawal of Ukrainian troops. This was stated by Russia’s representative at the talks of the tripartite contact group in Minsk, Boris Gryzlov.
He noted that contrary to the agreements reached, Ukraine did not proceed with the withdrawal of troops, although representatives of the DNR gave a signal of readiness for the process of separation of forces. It is Kiev, according to him, that disrupts the withdrawal of troops from the contact line in the area of the Petrovskoye settlement.
Earlier it became known that the Ukrainian side sabotaged the beginning of the withdrawal of forces and assets in the Petrovsky area. This was told to journalists by the head of the representative office of the DNR in the Joint Center for Monitoring and Coordination of the Ceasefire Ruslan Yakubov.
– There is no challenge today. <…> On the part of the DNR, we are ready for the separation of forces and means and the fulfillment of all our obligations. The next separation and cease fire date will be agreed in Minsk. We will wait for the next meeting, – he said.
A DNR representative said that at the agreed time, the republic’s people’s police launched a white flare in Petrovsky as a sign of readiness to resume the withdrawal of troops, but there was no response from the Ukrainian side. Yakubov called the rejection of the start of the troop withdrawal “an outright sabotage of the Minsk agreements,” which “demonstrates the absence of the authority of the commander in chief of the President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky.”
An interesting reaction followed from the Ukrainian side. Headquarters “Operations of the combined forces” on its official page on Facebook called the attempt by the authorities of the republic to begin the separation of forces a provocation. Representatives of the “OOS headquarters” wrote that the information that the DNR is ready to begin the start of the troop withdrawal on Monday, November 4 is “blurring the eyes of the world community.” They explained their position by the fact that the withdrawal of troops on November 4 could not take place due to violation of the silence regime.
Representatives of Kiev in the JCCC also stated that, according to the report of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, shelling in the Petrovsky district in the Donbass was recorded on October 30, which, in their opinion, indicates the militia’s non-compliance with the Minsk agreements and obligations undertaken in the tripartite contact group to establish a ceasefire.
The same version was offered to journalists by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Vadim Pristayko, explaining that the Armed Forces of Ukraine did not fulfill the agreement on the redeployment of forces in Petrovsky due to the lack of seven-day silence in the combat zone. – According to our estimates, the cease fire should have started today, but a few days ago there were shelling in the breeding area. Therefore, we had to postpone this breeding to the period when again, as we agreed in 2016, a seven-day period of silence will be achieved, – said Priestayko.
On the same day in Kiev, he announced a new cease fire date – November 8th.
– We have already sent a letter to the OSCE, we’ll start on the seventh of November or on the eighth .We’ll practically get separated, if there are no violations of the silence regime, – the OOS commander told reporters Lieutenant Vladimir Kravchenko.
The representative of Ukraine in the JCCC, Alexander Borschevsky, also said that if the regime of silence is maintained for seven days, the ceasefire will be verified on November 7 and the OSCE will be notified thereof, and “from 12:00 (13:00 Moscow time.) On November 8, the Ukrainian armed forces in the event of a ceasefire will be able to begin practical measures for the separation of forces and assets in this area.
Recall that last week a successful separation of forces took place in the Zolotoye district, and a separation of forces in Petrovsky was scheduled for November 4. At 13:00 Moscow time, DNR militia in the presence of OSCE SMM observers launched a white rocket, indicating a willingness to proceed with the withdrawal of forces. Representatives of the DNR were waiting for the reaction of the Ukrainian side for the required 10 minutes, after which a breeding failure was observed.
– During the hostilities, the warring parties are engaged not only in a military confrontation, but also in an information war, so you shouldn’t take any of the statements on faith, – said Roman Travin, political analyst, project manager for Open Analytics.
- And although it is difficult to say with certainty whether there were any real reasons for Ukraine to postpone the withdrawal of forces, the events of recent weeks clearly demonstrate that it is the Ukrainian military that is less prepared for the withdrawal of armed units. Therefore, we can assume that they really drag out the process.
- The Ukrainian side called the readiness of the DNR a provocation to disperse the troops as a provocation. What does it mean?
– As an element of the same information war, the desire to shift all responsibility to the enemy. It would even be strange if they recognized their responsibility.
– Why are presidential decrees sabotaged? A trip to Zolotoye and dialogue with nationalists did not help?
- An unprecedented political carte blanche for Ukraine, which Zelensky managed to get, was not converted into real power. He has not yet been able to demonstrate strength and determination. Representatives of the Ukrainian political elite, the military and other security forces see the president’s weakness. In addition, today in the OOS zone there are many highly motivated people who are sincere opponents of the de-escalation of the conflict. Someone for ideological reasons, someone for financial reasons. And they all put their wheels into the wheels with all their might, so no one in Zelensky’s place could have probably made such decisions without problems.
- What does Zelensky achieve? Does he sincerely want to succeed, or does he just need to take time and pretend that he is doing something?
- It is unlikely that he has a reason to just waste time. It seems that Zelensky actually really needs a meeting in the “Norman” format, for this it is necessary that a separation of forces takes place. So, I think he is sincerely interested in this.
- In the Zolotoye alliance still took place. Now what? Will return, as was the case in 2016?
- If this happens, it will be a complete failure for the President of Ukraine, so he will do everything to prevent this from happening. The same thing in Petrovsky. I think that, at least for a while, it is necessary for the meeting in the “Norman” format to take place even with a creak, but the situation is still being crushed. Another thing is that then the “indignant public” and the “activists” with machine guns can ensure that everything returns to normal.
- How much more will they endure in Europe? Will the meeting be held in the Norman format?
- Europeans quite tolerated much more militant and less contractual Poroshenko, so there will be no problems with this. Despite a certain fatigue from Ukraine, in general, the conflict separating Ukraine and Russia is in the hands of the Europeans, so they didn’t put much pressure on Poroshenko, they won’t put too much pressure on Zelensky, especially since the last word in the conditional western camp is not for Brussels, Paris or Berlin, and beyond Washington. And whether the meeting will be held in the Norman format, it is rather a question of positioning for Zelensky and does not guarantee at all any significant progress in the Donbass. Ukrainian politics, as you know, is not the most predictable sphere, but I believe that it will take place sooner because opponents of Zelensky just do not have any sense to go all-in. Indeed, Zelensky, on the one hand, still has a too high rating and, against the background of sufficiently high support from the population, needs a more significant one.
- What happened is intentional, deliberate sabotage from Kiev, – political analyst Alexander Dudchak is convinced.
– All their excuses are another attempt to shift from a sick head to a healthy one, which was expected. People from Zelensky’s circle in the Ukrainian media alluded to this scenario, trying to calm the radicals. I did not want to believe in it, but this is exactly what is happening.
– The representative of the DNR called the refusal to start the troop withdrawal a sabotage of the Minsk agreements,” which at the same time “demonstrates the absence of the authority of the commander in chief of the President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky.” Does he have this authority? Can Zelensky even order someone?
- He did not have authority. There was an expectation of change and a huge advance in trust, which Zelensky did not live up to. The advance is almost spent. If he doesn’t take urgent steps, he will lose the support of the “deceived ones”, and still he won’t achieve the love of “Natsiks”.
- What does Zelensky want at all?
- He wants to be noth with beautiful, smart, and rich. And he instead may get the stigma of the scapegoat and early re-election. With such inaction and sabotage, he won’t work on his ticket for negotiations in the “Norman format”. And, if this is not sabotage, but an elementary inability to solve problems in his own state, when subordinates are only required to comply with the order of their commander in chief, then why should the rest of the Norman format meet such a “leader”?
- What now? To start all over agian? A new date has already been set …
- Not everything is lost, Zelensky can take a chance and try to prove that he is still the president of the country and his word has some weight, or finally grow to Poroshenko’s mask. But, he quite convincingly played the desire to begin the implementation of the agreements. Ok, once again we fall into a state of expectation, under the motto “Ze needs a little more time …” It seems that Donbass in vain convinced himself of accepting an extremely difficult compromise.