Ukraine: Russian soldiers “were armed, but had no orders to shoot”

They caught fighting with the Donbass rebels. Despite the daily non-compliance of the ceasefire, the civil war is not going anywhere. Next winter could be crucial to Ukrainian national unity.

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“They were armed, but they had no orders to shoot. One of them said he had received orders from his military unit to go to Ukraine”. Today, th eOsce communcates it after two Russian soldiers were captured on Ukrainian soil while fighting alongside the pro-Russian militias on Monday, May18. After the arrival of military convoys last winter, intercepted by US satellites, this has definitely proved external interferences in the Donbass’ civil war. Interference which follows the video, of January 2015, whereas a US soldier was shot with Kiev’s army.

But the crisis in Ukraine still seems to be not going anywhere. Despite continuous clashes, especially near the airport of Donetsk and around the port city of Mariupol, confirm the no-compliance of the ceasefire declared by Minsk Protocol. The real showdown could take place next winter, when gas issue, supplied by Moscow, will become relevant again.

Meanwhile, the War has apparently become less Cold on the international front. The meetings in mid-May between the Secretary of State Kerry and President Putin, the first official visit on Russian soil since the crisis Ukrainian, show a willingness to dialogue between Washington and Moscow.

As well as having discussed the Syria case, the possible sale of Russian S-300 missiles to Iran and the Yemen war, Ukraine’s future was the main topic on the table. The US should want to entered in negotiating table consists of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany, which led to the Protocol of Minsk in February.

According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Lavrov, Kerry said that respect for these agreements should lead to the end of civil war in the Donbass. However Kiev’s desire to recover militarily Donetsk caused embarrassment.

The US military troops presence in the NATO base in Javorov (near the border with Poland) is a source of discord with Russia. Here, they are ongoing training of almost 1,000 Ukrainian soldiers from April.

The constant anti-Russian releases from the Ukrainian President and Prime Minister Poroshenko Yatseniuk also show how far is the solution to this crisis. On one side, Kiev accuses the Kremlin of having anti-Western aims and would economic and military aid to the United States and the European Union. On the other side, Moscow doesn’t want to give up the Russian-speaking regions (Donetsk, Lugansk and Crimea), which is the reply to Nato military forces and armaments’ developement in the former Soviet countries.

Cold war issues, Putin’s place in Syria and in other geopolitical contexts will be crucial to possible the Russian-speaking regions independence from Ukraine.
Giacomo Pratali

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