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Attempts are on-going to stir the pot in Eastern Ukraine, once again.
The US intelligence community is reportedly setting the stage, warning its European allies that Russia is planning an incursion into Ukraine, and the chance of that happening is increased with the coming of colder weather.
NATO’s mouthpiece, the Atlantic Council, warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin is “quietly moving ahead with the slow-motion annexation of east Ukraine.”
This relates to a presidential decree that removes barriers in trade between Russian and the self-proclaimed republics in East Ukraine.
The US and its Western allies deem this “just as much of a threat to Ukraine’s future territorial integrity” as the alleged purposeful presence of Russian “elite tank troops” along the border.
However, the reality of the matter seems a bit different. Around mid-November, domestic political pressure on the President of Ukraine intensified. Local oligarchs launched an information campaign accusing Zelensky of ineffective government management.
It is not far-fetched to consider that this is highly likely a scenario orchestrated by Washington, in an attempt to force the Kiev government into an escalation in order to create a diversion from its internal issues.
This rings even more true when it is considered that on November 21 and the early hours of November 22, Gorlovka and the surrounding areas were shelled by artillery.
A similar situation is in the area of the settlement Yasinovataya. In the LPR, Ukrainian forces fired from large-caliber artillery at the village of Kalinovo-Borshchevatoe.
President Volodymyr Zelensky congratulated Ukrainians on the “day of dignity and Freedom”, which is celebrated in the country on November 21, and shelling the homes of those living in the DPR and LPR is likely part of the festivities.
The Ukrainian president called for a change in the thinking of the Ukrainian people – to get rid of the psychology of the victim and become smart and brave. One way of doing that is evidently focusing outward, towards Donetsk and Lugansk and attempting to start a war.
Notably, the Armed Forces of Ukraine for the first time used the American Javelin anti-tank missile system during the fighting in Eastern Ukraine. The head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine Kirill Budanov announced that the Javelin had been used with pride.
If this course continues further hostilities are unavoidable in Eastern Ukraine, and it is likely that Kiev may find itself biting more than it can chew under Washington’s guidance.