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Zelensky Gets Tough With Defense Minister Over Attempts To Sabotage ‘Indefinite Ceasefire’ In Eastern Ukraine

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The Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) have intensified artillery and mortar shelling on settlements and towns of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and the Lugans People’s Repubic (LPR) ahead of the announced ‘indefinite ceasefire’ in the region.

The ceasefire was recently agreed by participants (the Kiev government, the DPR, LPR) of the Contact Group on the situation in eastern Ukraine. It’s set to start on July 21.

According to the DPR Defense Forces, during the last week, the UAF violated the ceasefire regime over 110 times damaging 30 infrastructure objects, including 2 infant schools and 9 electrical substations. The UAF uses a variety of weapons, including those banned by the Minks agreements (such weapons were set to be withdrawn from the contact line a long time ago).

There are two explanations of this situation:

  1. An emotional anger of UAF junior and middle command personnel. In this event, UAF forces want to deliver as much damage as they can until the start of the ceasefire. This is possible, but unlikely.
  2. Some powers attempt to undermine a conflict settlement process in eastern Ukraine. Intentional actions of this kind are hardly possible without some kind of involvement (or a connivance) of Ukraine’s Defense Minister.

The collapse of the settlement process pay into the hands of former President Petro Poroshenko, Poroshenko-linked oligarchs, and radicals supporting them. They are highly likely involved in this effort through the existing influence of Poroshenko’s circle on the acting government.

The video below demonstrates a conflict between President Volodymyr Zelensky and Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak on July 19. It shows how irritated Zelensky leavs a car and then pushes (moves) away the defense minister when he attempts to step closer to the President.

The incident happened during the presentation of a new variant of accommodation modules for UAF personnel deployed in the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine. It likely happened because of the ongoing attempt to sabotage the new ceasefire effort.

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