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Ukraine Hotspot Primed for Blowup

Aug. 10, 2016 (EIRNS)—On July 22, Russia’s permanent representative to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin issued a letter to the UN Security Council seeking urgent action to get the Kiev government to comply with the Minsk agreements, in order to avoid another major outbreak of fighting in the region. No action was taken, and there has been growing evidence that Churkin’s warning of that potential should be taken very seriously.

The Aug. 6 assassination attempt, by means of a bomb attack on his car, on Igor Plotnitsky, the leader of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR), is an indication that tensions are significantly escalating. The chairman of the republic’s Council of Ministers, Sergei Kozlov, said that Plotnitsky’s injuries are not life-threatening, but that the LPR authorities consider the attempt a terrorist attack. Sputnik reports that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Special Monitoring Mission has sent a team to examine the site of the attack and intends to prepare a report on it.

Denis Pushilin, negotiator for the Donetsk People’s Republic, the second of the two anti-Kiev republics, warns that renewed warfare is a real possibility if the Kiev regime doesn’t implement its responsibilities under the Minsk agreements. “The situation worsens with each day,” Pushilin told Izvestia, reports Newsweek.

“There has been no progress to regulate the conflict politically since the last negotiations. The situation remains tense and at any moment it can heat up and escalate into full-fledged fighting.”

He added that

“If Ukraine does not meet at least the first three points [of the ceasefire] in Donbas, open fighting will be renewed very soon.”

Steinmeier and Lavrov spoke by phone Aug. 9, and the conflict in eastern Ukraine was high on their agenda. “The sides continued discussion of urgent issues related to progress in the implementation of Minsk accords, and stressed the need to synchronize steps aimed at the political settlement of the crisis in eastern Ukraine with resolution of security issues,” the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement.

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