by John Galt
May 5, 2016 05:30 ET
The ongoing small unit skirmishes along the line of contact in the Lugansk and Donetsk Republics has been ongoing since the first implementation of the Minsk accords. The violations are being reported to the OSCE monitors but little if any action has been taken against either side as a result. According the DNR yesterday for example, there were 60 violations including artillery and mortar attacks along with small unit engagements in Zaitsevo, Yasinovataya, Ozeryanovka, Zheleznaya Balka, Sakhanka and the hotly contested area of the airport of Donetsk city. These are all violations of the accords but NATO and the European Union turn a blind eye while excoriating the Russian government which has been behaving itself to some degree in the region.
Now however, I think this is about to change.
Historically the Ukraine has been a terrible place to fight a ground war until the spring rains have ceased and the dry season takes hold. With the Eastern Orthodox Easter ceasefire underway this weekend, there are internet rumors that both sides might be planning some sort of violation or engagement.
In March I wrote as to the real reason Putin withdrew from his Syrian engagement and there appears to be more movement on that front yesterday as this report from Al-Masdar News indicates yesterday:
Per the article above, 30 Sukhoi SU-25 (NATO designation ‘Frogfoot’) were quietly withdrawn from Syria and flew back to Russia. This comes at a critical time for the Syrian military trying to initiate a new offensive east of Palmyra and around the city of Aleppo. What makes this even more bizarre is as the Russians were moving the aircraft out of Syria, they pressed with the U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, to extend the ceasefire in the city of Aleppo this morning. If the Russians wanted to guarantee an Assad victory, it is illogical to assume this withdrawal of key ground attack aircraft is happening unless something more urgent is about to occur closer to home.
Then there is this video inside the city of Lugansk filmed from an apartment near the intersection of Shelkovoho St. and Oboronna St:
That my friends is a Russian artillery battalion and it would appear to be moving towards the line of contact if the reports are correct. Keep in mind the OSCE will not confirm or deny any reports of heavy weaponry being moved by either side but the reports of over 14,000 Ukrainian troops being deployed across the Donetsk and Lugansk regions in March seems to verify that a buildup is almost complete and the idea of a new spring offensive does not seem far off.
Look for the Kiev supported Nazi paramilitary units to initiate a major offensive in the region when this starts forcing the Russians along with DNR and LNR troops to respond in force. At that point it in time if the American government openly takes sides with Poroshenko and the Ukrainian regime that this was a Russian backed action started by Moscow, then this war is about to get wider and more violent than before as it would indicate Washington’s tacit approval for a bold move by the Ukrainian military to invade the breakaway territories. If this is correct, the war will spread rapidly to Mariupol and Odessa within days of the conflict re-igniting.