After the presidential discussions on Tuesday in Minsk between President Poroshenko and Vladimir Putin, Wednesday brought new and fierce fighting in eastern Ukraine. Kiev immediately accused Russia that it had delivered more arms into the rebel-controlled regions of eastern Ukraine and also accused Russia of having seized villages in Ukraine with Russian troops in a new offensive.
Such fighting also evaporated any and all hopes that peace can be found between the two countries. In spite of the conciliatory discussions and peaceful intentions of its leaders, neither country seems to accept compromise. Moreover, it seems that Kremlin is not at all ready to accept that Ukraine could escape from its sphere of influence and is ready to go to all lengths to ensure such a scenario doesn’t come to pass.
According to State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, reports make it almost clear that Russian-directed counteroffensives are underway in eastern Ukraine but failed to suggest any United States response.
Ukraine President, Petro Poroshenko ensured Europe that his country is prepared for any economic cooperation agreements, signaling that the Ukraine is preparing itself for closer relations with the European Union.
Although Mr. Poroshenko had hoped that Ukraine could obtain a victory against the separatists fighting in eastern Ukraine, it seems that Russia can’t abandon its influence in Ukraine. Despite several weeks of successes on the battlefield this summer, the Ukrainian government began losing ground when pro-Russian rebels started gaining more territory after having received reinforcements of both fighters and weapons. It seems that the reinforcements were sent by Russia.
While Moscow keeps denying any involvement in the situation (and outright denies having supplied the rebels), Western officials and Kiev dismiss all such assertions.
In spite of threats that both the European Union and the United States would enforce dramatic sanctions against Russia, its involvement in the conflict is becoming clear and such an escalation will only mean new and costly challenges for United States and European Leaders trying to find a peaceful resolution.
According to Donald Tusk, Polish Prime Minister, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization can now provide clear evidence of Russian army units operating directly out of eastern Ukraine. Putin has therefore abandoned his previous attempts of avoiding such sanctions by covertly and deniably supporting Ukrainian rebels and minimizing the appearance of Russia’s involvement.
NATO officials also have evidence that Russia has used artillery aimed at Ukrainian forces and that they have been firing the projectiles from both Russian and Ukrainian territory.