03.16 22:00 ET – Ukraine Situation: Riots in Donbas and Is Russia Preparing an Invasion?

by John Galt
March 16, 2015 22:00 ET

The situation in the Donbas has been further destabilized by the Ukrainian government thanks to an unrelenting assault on Donetsk which even received Western press coverage via Reuters:

Fighting rages near Donetsk airport despite Ukraine ceasefire

Meanwhile, just north of Donetsk, an 8 year old girl was killed with her infant sibling and mother being critically injured as the Ukrainian Army movements in town resulted in an armored personnel carrier driving over the family in the town of Kostyantynivka. The result was was a spontaneous rebellion in the town where it was reported via Twitter as follows:

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As the riots persisted, videos began to filter in (Warning: The video from RT’s Ruptly of the family being hit by the Ukrainian APC is graphic):

As the evening progressed, Ukrainian forces withdrew leaving their APC’s and bunkers to be torched by the angry locals:

Meanwhile, there were other tweets indicating that the Ukrainian military was moving armored vehicles from Kostyanynivka towards Donetsk to reinforce the offensive which was started in violation of the Minsk 2 agreement. According to unconfirmed reports, 34 armored personnel carriers and tanks moved from the town towards Donetsk while radical militias were being sent to Kostyanynika to initiate “punitive” reprisals against the citizenry.

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Meanwhile in Kiev, President Poroshenko all but declared the ceasefire agreement dead, per this news story from 17:24 GMT via Ukraine Today:

Poroshenko says ceasefire not working and calls for new Russia sanctions

From the article above:

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has told German newspaper Bild that the ceasefire in east Ukraine is ‘not working’ and called for more sanctions on Russia. Poroshenko went on to say that the ceasefire was broken 1,100 times by Russian-backed militants since it began last month.

Despite attacks becoming less frequent from both the Ukrainian side and the militant side, both accuse each other of violating the peace deal. On Saturday Ukrainian military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said that Russians are massing military equipment near the Ukrainian border.

While the Ukrainian military has been engaging in probably as many violations as the rebels, the latter part of the excerpt from the story above is quite true and very frightening if it verifies in the days ahead. What evidence is there of Russian troop movements near the border regions? Hell, the Russians themselves are not even blocking the YouTube postings of its citizens showing the unusual location and shuffling of forces around border locations. The most disturbing videos center around the city of Belgorod, less than 60 miles from the important Ukrainian city of Kharkiv (Kharkov):

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While this might seem like a sideshow, the videos seem to intimate something larger is afoot:

While this is only a small sampling, the concern is that with the approach of the spring thaw in full, Russian armor could sweep down on Kharkiv in a matter of hours, and begin to cut Ukrainian forces off form the Donbas with a thrust from Kharkiv to Dnepropetrovsk while simultaneously launching a coastal assault to seize Mariupol and Odessa. The Ukrainian military would be forced to fall back from any positions it held in the region to protect Kiev while at the same time hoping that NATO forces would directly intervene (which they would not). If Russia fails to execute this maneuver in the weeks ahead, they will be viewed as politically and militarily incompetent as the rebel forces in Donetsk would almost certainly fall to the Ukrainians before the grand Moscow May Day celebrations.

Stay tuned as when more videos and information becomes available, I shall try to post it as the situation is quite fluid now.

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