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The first thing that comes to mind when talking about escalation of the situation in Eastern Ukraine is that Putin is trying to hold Ukraine in tension, aggravate destabilization in order to squeeze out the concessions for the Kremlin, namely constitutional changes regarding ”special status”, holding elections and amnesty for insurgents of DNR/LNR.
The second possible reason for shelling intensification is to maintain the internal order in pseudo-bodies of the unrecognized republics. If they are not busy with shelling, drug and alcohol abuse, outrage may come instead, which in it’s turn will be followed by the “peoples” righteous indignation. In such circumstances the regime will lose it’s last outpost of legitimacy and separatists will have no base to rest on.
The third reason is scanning for the weak points in Ukraine’s defense prior the major attack. Many people say that the offensive will not do as Russia is afraid of tightening sanctions against it. However, Kremlin knows how to avoid it. If the elections take place in Donbas, then DNR/LNR will get legal authority, which accordingly is eligible to seek military assistance from Putin. And Putin doesn’t seem to care too much about the fact, that these bodies aren’t going to be recognized by any other country in the world except Russia. This hadn’t stopped him when signing the agreement for military support of Ossetia, where a Russian military base was build. The West is not really willing to strengthen the sanctions especially in the midst of debates to cancel the sanctions or at least to ease them.
New military units emerging along the Ukrainian border also speak in favor of this version. Besides, new divisions appear on the territory of Donbas. It can be assumed that they are having exercises. However, it’s quite expensive just to train, for no reason. A different matter is when it’s a preparation for something specific, for further offensive in particular – the hardest variant for Ukraine. One pleasant fact is that Ukrainian President together with the General Staff start to airily mention a possible offensive.
Not known whether this takes place, but one needs to get ready. Undoubtedly Putin will use his leverages for Ukraine and for the West to the maximum. If this doesn’t work, the possibility of offensive increases several-fold. Wherein the possibility of offensive itself should give the cold shivers to top political circles and extort concessions, as expected by Putin.
Just a while ago everybody thought that post-Soviet countries can’t be at war with each other, and here it is. So everything is possible.
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