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Manuel Ochsenreiter in Donbass.
OPINION

Ukrainian Terror and Donbass referendum: What we can learn from the latest events in Donetsk

The assassination of Donbass field commander Arsen “Motorola” Pavlov on October 16 can be seen as a new escalation of the war scenario in former Eastern Ukraine. The successful elimination of one of the most popular commanders of the independence war of Donbass brought that geopolitical hotspot – despite the events in Syria´s Aleppo – back in Western mainstream media.

Published: October 30, 2016, 1:20 pm

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    But we shouldn´t be naive: The Donbass war didn´t stop just because Western media decided to turn a blind eye to the region. Ukraine and its Western allies are violating the cease-fire agreements nonstop.

    A single example from one ordinary day in the Donetsk People´s Republic (DPR) would suffice: On October 26 Eduard Basurin, the DPR Operative Command Vice-Commander reported in his daily briefing: “The situation in DPR has remained tense over the past 24 hours. The Ukrainian fighters violated the ceasefire regime 278 times, including using artillery and mortars of different caliber 182 times.”

    And in October hundreds of foreign mercenaries arrived at the contact line in Donbass. Reportedly, the fighters come from such countries as Poland, the Baltic States, Canada and the US.

    novorossiya

    Ukraine 1648, with a broad belt of “loca deserta”, Latin for desolated areas.

    The Chief of Staff of the People’s Militia of the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), Oleg Anaschenko, stated: “We have also recorded the presence of training camps in the village of Schastye (on the contact line) where American and Polish instructors train sharpshooters and sabotage and reconnaissance groups for their further actions on the territory of the LPR.”

    In other words: The war in Donbass has never stopped. The intensity of the hostilities might increase or decrease – but they have been going on since 2014.

    The assassination of “Motorola” should be seen in this context: It is the “tip of the iceberg”. And it might open a new chapter in the Donbass war – the “terror war” by Ukrainian militias and mercenaries. Kiev and its allies might consider the conventional front-line war against the Donbass defenders as a hopeless case. But to infiltrate the territories of DPR and LPR with sabotage and terrorist forces for spreading fear among civilians by a strategy of so-called “morale bombing” might be strategically and economically considered as more attractive. Anyway, the Ukrainian government has in the past made some very clear statements about collective punishment of the people in Donbass who are considered as “separatists” and even “terrorists”. And Kiev can rely on its Western allies: Neither Brussels nor Washington would protest against Kiev´s “morale bombing”.

    While the “Normandie Four” (Germany, France, Ukraine, Russia) met on October 19 in Berlin to speak about the developments in Donbass, tens of thousands of people participated in the funeral of “Motorola” in Donetsk. Nobody forced them to go there, nobody bribed them to appear at the funeral procession. They didn´t just pay their respect to Arsen Pavlov, they also expressed their will to resist the Kiev attacks. The appearance of such a mass of people at Pavlov´s funeral can be seen as a powerful demonstration of the undisputable will to independence and souvereignty – maybe as a spontaneous and impressive variant of a “referendum” regarding the future of their country. And they expressed something else: The future of the region will not be decided in Berlin, Paris, London or Washington – but by the people of Donbass.

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