Strengthening of terrorist attacks in Donbas – the desire to put pressure on Ukraine to recognize their legitimacy

Artem Philippenko

Odessa – 14 January 2015 – Artem Filippenko, a political scientist, director of the Odessa branch of the Institute for Strategic Studies held a briefing on the analysis of the current situation and events in Donbas.


Now the situation has escalated in the region of Donetsk airport plus happened tragic fire at a checkpoint near Volnovaha. Shell hit a passenger bus, were killed more than 10 people. The world community is unanimously opposed the attack by militants of “DPR” and called for a thorough investigation of the incident.


What happened yesterday – the result of non-compliance with the Minsk Agreement and breakdown of the ceasefire.


The whole situation is a reaction to the lack of progress in resolving the Ukrainian crisis. Unfortunately, many of the issues that are discussed at the talks remain behind the scenes, but now it is clear that the project “Novorossia”, which was conceived as a rejection of the Ukrainian territories and the creation of quasi-states is now finally buried. Russian officials now do not even use this word in their speeches.


But hybrid war continues. The plan of Russia now is the depletion of Ukraine and forcing to legitimizing terrorists by giving them any official status. Ideally – is the realization of the Transnistria scenario. They also want to make a separate status for the occupied territories, it is desirable to veto, when making global foreign policy decisions.


Also Russia is not against to force Ukraine to take the issue of restoration of Donbas. To further undermine the Ukrainian economy. Russia makes a bet that the socio-political situation in the country will deteriorate. And parallel to shatter the situation in Odessa, Kharkiv and other major cities.


From the viewpoint of Ukraine also makes sense to use the time factor. This is because as soon earned a full force of the international community sanctions against Russia. Together with the fall of oil prices is strongly undermines the economic base of Russia and its possibility to support the terrorists.


Ukraine responded to the worsening of the situation with restrict movement of people in the area of ATO, between its territory and the one that is under the control of terrorists. The conflict in Donbas now has no military solution. But it does not have in the near future and political solutions. Because it is very complicated, and it is not like other frozen conflicts in the world. It’s civil conflict – a conflict of mentalities, and not a religious or ethnic.


In the foreseeable future should not be expected until the spring of any progress in resolving the conflict. But after a few months it will be clear where to move the economy of Ukraine, and what happens to Russia in terms of sanctions and falling oil prices. Especially in the terrorist republics themselves, began the struggle for power between groups.


If after the terrorist attack in Volnovakha the international community recognizes “DPR” and “LPR” as terrorist organizations, Russia can obtain the status of country, supporting terrorism. And that could lead to new, more stringent economic sanctions. It is very much depends on the efforts of the Ukrainian diplomacy. Much depends on us. Interpol does not have to declare Yanukovych’s wanted list, but Ukraine itself, we must strengthen the Army, and not NATO, reform the economy should Ukraine itself, and not the EU.