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Kiev Regime Fueling the War in the Donbass

Feb. 8, 2017 (EIRNS)—Recognition that the Kiev regime is behind the recent escalation of the fighting in the Donbass is coming to some in the West. An article in Foreign Policy by Isaac Webb, a freelance writer based in Kiev, not only connects the renewed fighting to the arrival in office of President Trump, but it also notes that the Kiev regime has been moving heavy weapons into areas along the line of contact where they are banned by the Minsk agreements. He furthermore states that "there’s no evidence that regular Russian troops are involved in the current fighting," though he otherwise places equal blame for the recent escalation in fighting on Russia. At the same time, the Ukrainian president’s office has used the escalation to "remind" Trump of the "costs" of rapprochement with Russian President Vladimir Putin: "The shelling is massive. Who would dare talk about lifting the sanctions in such circumstances?" Poroshenko said on Jan. 31.

In comments made yesterday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov appeared to be responding, at least in part, to Webb’s article.

"If someone hopes that all Ukraine’s problems will be solved as soon as Kiev regains full control of Donbass, they are wrong, for it is impossible."

This is why Kiev must settle for implementing the Minsk agreements, Lavrov added.

At the Pentagon, Defense Department spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis admitted: "We haven’t seen any sort of large-scale movement of Russian forces that would suggest this is a part of something bigger," he told reporters yesterday.

"This is a flair-up of violence, but at this point we see no reason to believe it is a part of a broader problem or preparation for something bigger,"

Davis said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by phone yesterday on the Ukrainian situation. Merkel called on Putin

"to use his influence on separatists in eastern Ukraine to stop the violence there, and the two agreed on the need for new ceasefire efforts, a German government spokesman said," reports Reuters.

Putin clearly disagreed with the notion that Russia is controlling events on the ground.

"Vladimir Putin drew Angela Merkel’s attention to the data of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission as well as statements by official Kiev representatives, which indicate attempts by the Ukrainian security forces to change the situation at the contact line in their favour by military means,"

reports the Kremlin readout.