Crisis in Ukraine: Kiev prepares for Russian ‘full-scaled offensive’

14 November 2014 – VoxEurop EUobserver.com, France Inter, Kyiv Post

Ukraine is mobilising troops and seeking European Union help in anticipation of a Russian military offensive in the east of the country, Kyiv Post and EUobserver report on 14 November.

Kyiv Post writes that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and NATO have both observed weapons and soldiers crossing the border into the eastern Donbass region, in what the Ukrainian government calls “a violation of the 5 September Minsk ceasefire agreement”. In response, Ukraine has reportedly been —

staffing and equipping the reserves [as well as signing] more than Hr 1 billion [€52m] worth of contracts for supply of weapons and military equipment in the past week alone.

Ukraine’s ambassador to the European Union has warned authorities in Brussels of “a new full-scaled offensive operation against Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty” in a letter revealed by EUobserver, which notes the ambassador calls on the EU “to put ‘diplomatic pressure’ on Moscow to return to US and EU-mediated peace talks” and to impose “‘a new wave’ of preventative sanctions, such as blacklisting more Russian officials and raising the ‘economic […] cost’ of Russia’s actions.”

Although “Russia categorically denies” accusations it has been sending troops into Ukraine and amassing as many as 8,000 on the border”, Bernard Guetta argues on France Inter that —

it is not certain an offensive is imminent, even if it is most likely. It is also possible that [Russian president] Vladimir Putin is flexing his muscles to win concessions from Ukraine, the EU and the United States.

Back in EUobserver, Ukrainian activist Roman Sohn opines that the West is now bearing the consequences of ignoring “Russia’s slow transformation back into a totalitarian state” —

Europe’s blind greed of putting economic interests before liberal principles helped bring us to where we are today: the brink of war in Europe.

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