Ukraine At the Edge of a Major New ‘Spiral of Violence’

In an interview published Sunday, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier termed the situation in Ukraine “explosive,” and called on both parties in the conflict to come together quickly for talks to prevent a spiral of violence. Steinmeier said he had proposed to his Ukrainian and Russian counterparts that Kiev and pro-Russian separatists sit down urgently with representatives from the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) to try to reduce tensions. “The situation in Eastern Ukraine is explosive,” he told Bild am Sonntag. “There is  alot at stake. If both parties in the conflict don’t return to the peace process, a new military escalation spiral could be triggered at any time.”

Steinmeier’s remarks apparently came after officials of both the Luhansk People’s Republic and the Donetsk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine warned Aug. 15 that the Kiev regime is preparing attacks on both self-proclaimed republics. The Ukrainian army is “strengthening its combat potential” while the D.P.R. is unilaterally withdrawing weaponry of more than 100mm caliber to the distance of three kilometers from the contact line, said D.P.R. military spokesman Eduard Basurin. “Our source at the headquarters of the Ukrainian Armed Forces has learned about organization of an attack group of the so-called ‘Anti-Terror Operation’ consisting of 92 and 54 mechanized brigades, which total 5,000 military, and soon, with mighty support from the artillery, they will begin an attack,” reported an unnamed L.P.R. official. “The main objective they have is to seize Luhansk.”

Meanwhile, the regime’s Interior Ministry said Monday morning that two people were killed in Mariupol by shelling from the D.P.R. Alexander Motuzyanik, the Ukrainian Presidential Administration’s spokesman made a declaration Sunday on this force operation in Donbass, that the regime reserves the right to bring heavy weapons (above 100mm caliber) back to the line of contact [if they were ever withdrawn in the first place]. He claimed Kiev had fulfilled the provision of the Minsk Agreement on withdrawal of the weapons of that caliber, which, he said, the militia had not done. “Thus, we reserve the right, in case of threat to the lives and health of our military, to return those weapons without delay, and use them.”

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