Kiev legitimizes war against Donbass

Kiev legitimizes war against Donbass

Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada adopted the so-called law on Donbass reintegration today.

The document classifies the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics as "occupied territories," labels Russia an "occupier" and officially introduces the notion of "Russian aggression." 

The president will have the right to use the armed forces, including for liberating the territories in the country’s east, without the parliament’s approval. A unified operation headquarters of Ukraine’s Armed Forces will be set up to control all security forces and military and civil administrations in the conflict zone. Any mentioning of the Minsk agreements has been excluded from the document.

A total of 280 MPs voted in favor of the document titled "On the peculiarities of state policy on the restoration of the state sovereignty of Ukraine over the temporarily occupied territory of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine."

Over the past three days, the lawmakers have considered 700 amendments to the law, endorsing only eight of them, TASS reported.

The Director General of the Institute for Caspian Cooperation, Sergey Mikheyev, speaking with Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that by doing this, Kiev worsened the Ukrainian crisis. "This means that there will be no Donbass reintegration: in such radical version, the law restricts any opportunities for normalizing relations as much as possible and raises the degree of tension. If Ukraine recognized Russia as an aggressor, defined Donbass as the occupied territory and removed the priority of the Minsk agreements, it dealt a blow to the Minsk settlement process, which aggravates the current state of affairs," he said.

The expert expects that Kiev will say that they do not renounce the Minsk agreements, but do not consider them a priority option for solving the problem. As a result, the world community, as before, will be guided by the position of Washington; it is possible that before adopting such a wording of the law, Kiev consulted with the West. Countries will be divided into those who will justify Kiev in any case and those who will express very accurate discontent. In this situation, there is obvious competition between American and Russian influence on Ukraine, so do not expect that the international community will condemn Kiev now: rather, the reaction of those satisfied will be quiet," Sergei Mikheev believes.

The director of the Institute of Political Studies Sergei Markov said that Kiev and Washington intend to impose their model for the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis with the use of this law. "The law was adopted in order to pretend that Kiev fulfills the Minsk agreements. It and Washington need it to make Russia to enter peacekeepers on the Korean model when the UN peacekeeping units took part in the fighting. That is, Washington, de facto, requires Moscow to surrender the Donbass and wants to call it the implementation of the Minsk agreements, although it is about preparing for the occupation of Donbass with subsequent terrorist cleansing," he noted.

"There is another important reason of why the Americans do this: in 2018 they intend to move from direct management of Ukraine to an indirect one, transfer the main power to Petro Poroshenko. But they are afraid that Poroshenko may try to achieve peace with the Donbass. Americans do several things to avoid it: first, they want to leave their political police in the form of a bunch of an anti-corruption bureau, an anti-corruption prosecutor's office and an anti-corruption court. Second, they pass a law on reintegration that should block Petro Poroshenko from fulfilling the Minsk agreements in the future. This is the wrong move, since Russia will not give up on the Donbass in any case, and no law will not stop Petro Poroshenko, if he wants to fulfill Minsk agreements," Sergei Markov stressed.