US-Supported Kiev Aggression on Donbass Escalated
by Stephen Lendman
Kiev junta officials want war, not peace. They want illegitimate fascist rule hardened - with no recognized democratic pockets. Local autonomy is strictly forbidden despite mandated under Minsk ceasefire terms.
Rebel fighters continue showing good faith efforts for peace and stability. Despite obvious threats, they'll withdraw heavy weapons from frontline positions - in place to deter junta aggression.
A statement was issued saying "(t)o show our commitment to the Minsk agreements, we are ready to make the next step towards peace. For that, (we'll) pull back our units with tanks and armored vehicles, equipped with weapons under 100mm calibre, to at least three kilometres (1.9 miles) from the front line."
Withdrawal doesn't apply to several "problem areas." They include up to 12% of the ceasefire line. OSCE monitors were notified of what's planned.
In contrast, Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) military spokesman Eduard Basurin said multiple daily junta "ceasefire violation and criminal actions…speak for Kiev's buildup for active hostility." Attacks are intensifying.
Minsk terms required all heavy weapons withdrawn well behind frontline positions. Junta forces kept theirs in place - shifting positions to create the illusion of pullback. Rebels complied unilaterally until forced to act against Kiev aggression.
Escalated Saturday attacks were heavier than more recent ones. DPR's Defense Ministry reported 44 junta ceasefire violations in the last 24 hours. Shelling was intense, it said.
A Donetsk hospital was targeted - at least one death and several injuries reported, including a doctor. Central city civilian neighborhoods were shelled. Damage cut off water in some city areas. A gas pipeline was struck. Basurin said:
"Residential buildings have been hit...DNR emergency services are on their way to the shelling site, fires have broken out there."
Ukrainian forces continue shelling rebel held areas, he explained. RT International correspondent Murad Gazdiev called weekend attacks "unprecedented in recent times" - perhaps indicating greater aggression to come.
"Deafening explosions in the center of Donetsk" were heard, he said. "(A)mbulances and fire trucks (were) sent everywhere." Areas targeted had "nothing of military value" - just apartment blocks, shops, a hospital and school.
Other DPR areas struck included its airport (largely destroyed from previous fighting), Yasinovataya, Gorlovka, Spartak, Zheleznaya Balka, Krasny Partizan, Belaya Kamenka, Novaya Laspa and Shirokaya Balka settlements.
On Sunday, DPR Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko said "over 70,000 Ukrainian military mobilized along the line of engagement, and every day the number is growing" - more evidence junta officials want war, not peace.
DPR parliament Speaker Andrey Purgin called on BRICS countries to impose sanctions on Ukraine, its officials and enterprises for continuing aggression on Donbass.
"The Ukrainian armed forces continue massive artillery bombardments of the Donetsk and Luhansk republics destroying houses, hospitals and killing civilians daily," he said.
"I appeal to the BRICS leaders with a demand to impose sanctions against Ukrainian officials and companies involved in the terror of the people of Donbass."
"Poroshenko was rapidly approaching 'the point of no return' when no one could convince Donbass of Ukraine's (willingness) to negotiate (for peace)."
Constitutional amendments rammed through parliament violated Minsk. So-called debate excluded Donbass representation. Its rights were ignored.
Measures enacted were sent to Ukraine's constitutional court. Expect rubber-stamp approval to follow. Rogue states operate this way - including waging naked aggression on its own people rejecting illegitimate fascist rule.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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