Ukraine launches new offensive against pro-Russian separatist ‘parasites’
By End the Lie
Ukrainian government forces launched a new round of attacks on pro-Russian separatist forces after President Petro Poroshenko said he would not renew the cease-fire agreement.
The government forces attacked bases in eastern Ukraine with air and artillery strikes on Tuesday, part of an effort to rid the country of what Poroshenko dubbed “parasites,” Voice of America reports.
The military also plans to launch air attacks against the bases and checkpoints in the restive eastern part of the country.
“The terrorists’ plan to significantly escalate armed confrontation has been disrupted and the threat of losses to the civilian population and service personnel has been liquidated,” the Ukrainian defense ministry said, according to Voice of America.
Russian President Vladimir Putin responded to the announcement by escalating rhetoric even further.
Putin vowed to protect the interests of the Russian community abroad and that his country is part of a historic effort to defend its civilization, according to The Washington Post.
Just hours after Poroshenko’s announcement, Putin compared Ukraine to Iraq, Syria and Libya and said he couldn’t stand by as a country with historical ties to Russia was taken over by people he called “neo-Nazis.”
Poroshenko has “taken up full responsibility for the continuation of this military campaign,” Putin said.
“We in Europe all need a safety net, so the Iraqi, Libyan, Syrian and Ukrainian precedents will not turn into an infectious disease,” he said, warning that countries in Europe may actually be less stable than they appear on the surface.
While Putin did not make any specific comments about increasing his country’s involvement in the region, his statement showed that the efforts between the Kremlin and the new presidency after the election have not accomplished much.
Tuesday afternoon in Ukraine also saw the outbreak of gunfire in Donetsk, the capital of one of the two regions that separatists have declared independent, according to AP.
In a different AP report, it was stated that rebels captured the interior ministry there.
In the renewed assaults on rebels, one Ukrainian service member was killed and 17 wounded over the past 24 hours, according to Defense Ministry spokesman Oleksiy Dmytrashkovsky. An Su-25 attack aircraft was also damaged. Dmytrashkovsky did not comment on the number of rebel casualties.
On the diplomatic front, there were threats of a new round of economic sanctions against Russia if the country and the pro-Russian rebels don’t meet Poroshenko’s conditions.
However, European Union ambassadors decided on Tuesday that they were not prepared to impose new sanctions. Instead, they agreed to prepare a proposal that would be ruled on at their meeting next Monday, an EU official said to AP.
If approved, the sanctions could be the widest reaching yet. The anonymous EU official said the sanctions could include travel bans and asset freezes for individuals and companies. Previous sanctions only targeted individuals.