The capture by Ukraine of settlements near Mariupol could become a pretext for the reigniting of the war in Donbass.
Originally appeared at Rusvesna, translated by Mikhail Alexandrovich exclusively for SouthFront
Yesterday, the Ukrainian General Staff openly made an announcement that they had captured two settlements in the neutral zone near Mariupol.
The Speaker of the General Staff Armed Forces of Ukraine Vladyslav Voloshin, told reporters that they had captured the settlements of Pavlopol and Pishevik.
“These two settlements (Pavlopol and Pisevik) had not been under the control of illegal formations, there was simply no administration nor any Ukrainian authorities. Now it is under the control of the military, and the representatives of Minister of Internal Affairs, emergency services, military and civil administration. Bus services and a shuttle service to Mariupol have also been resumed in Pavlopol.
There had been a control checkpoint for incoming and outgoing traffic near the settlement of Gnutov, on the road from Pavlopol to Mariupol. Now this control point will be relocated to the region of Pishevika, a little closer to the grey zone.” – Said Voloshin.
The Ministry of Defense in DNR has said that 5, not 2 settlements had been occupied, and announced that the preconditions for the resumption of hostilities had been met.
“Yesterday, the military and political leadership (of Ukraine) announced the “victorious” capture of the peaceful settlements of Pavlopol and Pishevik in the Mariupol area. The forceful seizure by the Armed Forces of Ukraine of these settlements is a prerequisite for the resumption of hostilities.” – Said Deputy Defence Minister and DNR Ministry of Defense spokesperson Eduard Basurin.
Basurin underscored that the settlements of Shirokino, Vinogradnoye, Pavlopol, Pishevik and Gnutovo, located in the buffer zone between opposing sides – at the moment of the signing of the ceasefire agreement – had not been under the control of authorities in Kiev.
It later became apparent that 7 settlements had been occupied, and the list was revised to include the settlements of Bahmutovka and Zhovanka.
Kiev had been planning the capture of these settlements for a long time
On the 25th of November, the head of the Donetsk occupation VGA Pavlo Zhebriskiy announce, that the control checkpoint at Gnutov would be moved to Pishevik – Pavlopol.
“Today, together with ATO (Anti Terrorist Operation) command, we have decided to move to KPVV Gnutova in Pishevik – Pavlopol. This will allow us to move the checkpoints from Mariupol, and simplify life for Mariupol residents, as well as bring some settlements in from the gray zone “- he said on his official page on Facebook.
The DNR has notified the OSCE of Ukraine’s Minsk agreement violations.
The Donetsk People’s Republic has sent a notification addressed to the OSCE on the facts of the capture of settlements along the front line by Ukrainian armed forces.
“We have sent appropriate letters addressed to Martin Saydika – the coordinator of the contact group in Minsk, as well as to the special monitoring mission of the OSCE – said in a statement, the Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic and head of the delegation of the NPT at the talks in Minsk Denis Pushilin. – We also call on the Normandy format to assess the actions of Kiev and prevent the resumption of full-scale hostilities, Due to the gross violations of the Minsk Agreement by Ukraine. “
Pushilin clarified that he is talking about the settlements of Pishevik, Pavlopol, Vinogradnoye, Gnutova, Shirokino, Bahmutovka and Zhovanka. According to the Speaker, the actions of the Ukrainian side is increasingly looking like attempts to escalate the conflict.
“During a time they are meant to be removing heavy weapons from the neutral zone, and the safety of residents should only be improving. It is Unacceptable.” Added Denis Pushilin.