The Russian news agency TASS reports (December 16, 2018) on disturbing developments pointing to the deployment of Ukrainian troops and tanks against Donbass. “A spokesman for the DPR defense ministry Daniil Bezsonov said that tank and mechanized battalions of the 93rd mechanized brigade have been unloaded at the Konstantinovka railway station”
Ukraine’s forces have started reinforcing their grouping in Donbass, redeploying tanks and attack aviation to the contact line in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, Daniil Bezsonov, a spokesman for the DPR defense ministry, said on Sunday.
“Over the past two days, tank and mechanized battalions of the 93rd mechanized brigade have been unloaded at the Konstantinovka railway station, increasing the grouping by more than 60 tanks and infantry fighting vehicles,” the Donetsk News Agency said.
The DPR intelligence has reported that four Su-25 aircraft have been sent from the Melitopol to the Berdyansk airfield. These attack planes may be used for fire support operations during a massive air strike, he said.
The Kiev forces are also planning to reinforce their grouping in the Gorlovka direction by militants of the Right Sector (extremist group, outlawed in Russia) volunteer units, the spokesman said.
“According to our data, 24 reserve hundreds have been formed, up to 150 gunmen in each,” he stressed.
Since the beginning of the Donbass conflict in April 2014 the sides have declared more than 20 ceasefires. The latest agreement of the Contact Group on the so-called “back-to-school” ceasefire took effect on August 29. However, no lasting truce has been achieved so far. (TASS, December 16, 2018)
The latest reports from Russia’s Foreign Ministry based on public statements by Sergei Lavrov suggest that “Russia Will not Wage War on Ukraine”.
This public statement is subject to interpretation. Moscow is not revealing its military and intelligence strategies with regard to Crimea and Donbass.
Lavrov’s public statement does not signify that Russia will not intervene militarily.
According to the Tass report: “the Kiev regime is hatching a scheme for an armed provocation on the border with Crimea some time in the last ten days of December”. In this regard, according to Lavrov Russia intends to respond:
Russia is not going to wage war against Ukraine but will respond in kind, if Kiev carries out a provocation on the border with Crimea, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the Komsomolskaya Pravda radio station on Monday.
“We will not wage war against Ukraine, I promise you,” he vowed.
He stressed that Ukraine’s domestic problems were “much broader and deeper” than just the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics (DPR, LPR). That’s why Russia cannot just recognize the DPR and LPR, as that would be tantamount to leaving the rest of Ukraine in the hands of the Nazi regime.
“You want to recognize the LPR and DPR? And what’s next? To lose the rest of Ukraine and abandon it to the Nazis?” he said, when asked why Russia refused to recognize these self-proclaimed republics.
He noted though that Kiev was plotting more incitement on the border with Russia. “I am sure there will be more provocations,” he warned. “”[Ukrainian President Pyotr] Poroshenko is planning an armed provocation on the border with Russia, on the border with Crimea during the last ten days of December.”
Any action by the Kiev regime against Crimea will be considered as act of war to which Russia will respond:
The minister vowed that Russia would not leave that unanswered. “The answer is: they will regret it. This is our country, this is our border. We will not allow him [Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko] to try to somehow protect his interests, the way he sees it, and violate those rights that Crimeans defended in full accordance with international law,” Lavrov stressed.
Russia’s top diplomat pointed out that the current regime in Kiev was similar to that of neo-Nazis.
“We are not fighting the Ukrainian regime. It is Ukrainian citizens living in Donbass who are fighting against the Ukrainian regime, which has full Nazi and neo-Nazi characteristics,” Lavrov pointed out. According to Russia’s data, Poroshenko has been discussing the upcoming provocation on the border with Crimea with his Western sponsors. “They advise him to keep low intense combat actions to enable them to go ahead with propaganda that Russians are carrying out an offensive against Ukraine and that’s why Russia needs to be hit by sanctions, but military actions should never switch into a phase that will be followed by full-scale responses,” Lavrov stressed.
Russia’s top diplomat emphasized that Kiev’s provocations are ongoing. “Our respective services are making all necessary efforts to thwart these incidents.” (TASS, December 17, 2018)
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