Monday, June 08, 2015

UKRAINE - New Flare-Up

"Does a violent flare up in Ukraine signal more friction to come?" PBS NewsHour 6/4/2015


SUMMARY:  Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko told his military to prepare for a possible "full scale" invasion from Russia.  That warning came a day after fighting resumed in Eastern Ukraine, with casualties of 25 dead and dozens more injured.  Gwen Ifill talks to David Herszenhorn of The New York Times about the ongoing tensions and failing cease-fire.

GWEN IFILL (NewsHour):  Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko told his military today to prepare for a possible full-scale invasion from Russia.  The remarks came one day after a new outbreak of fighting in Eastern Ukraine, which claimed the lives of more than 25 people and injured dozens more.

Speaking to the Ukrainian Parliament, Poroshenko described what he called a colossal threat of the resumption of large-scale hostilities by Russian and terrorist forces.  And he said, contrary to Moscow’s denials, those Russian troops are in rebel-controlled areas.

PRESIDENT PETRO POROSHENKO, Ukraine (through interpreter):  In Ukrainian territory, there are 14 Russian battalions, tactical groups that include over 9,000 Russian military servicemen.  The concentration of Russian servicemen along the national border with Ukraine is 1.5 times bigger than a year ago.

The military must be ready as much for a renewal of an offensive by the enemy in the Donbass as they are for a full-scale invasion along the whole length of the border with Russia.  We must be truly ready for this.

GWEN IFILL:  A cease-fire signed in February has been steadily crumbling, as international monitors report regular violations.

David Herszenhorn of The New York Times has been following the story from Moscow.

Those were pretty strong words from Petro Poroshenko today, David.  And they were backed up from what NATO — by what NATO has been saying as well.

DAVID HERSZENHORN, The New York Times:  There’s no question, Gwen.

What we see is that we have entered a very tense, in fact, obviously quite dangerous period of time, where Ukraine’s Western allies, especially France and Germany, have become extremely frustrated by the slow pace, the failure actually to implement that Minsk 2 cease-fire accord signed back in February.

And so what we see is an increase in hostilities, as both sides are trying to show that the other is responsible for these violations, for the increase in violence and for the failure to move forward with political compromises need for a long-term settlement.

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