"Martial law serves to camouflage Poroshenko regime's intention to stage a new provocation in Donbas
," Zakharova said, adding that Moscow does not rule that Kiev might state new provocations in the region with the use of toxic substances.
Fourth, frozen conflicts allow Russia to establish a forward presence of armed forces, such as the roughly 9,000 troops currently maintained across South Ossetia, Abkhazia, and Transdniestria as well as additional GRU and Spetsnaz forces deployed in the Donbas
. (6) These forward troops provide the same sort of deterrence as the trip wire of NATO forces in Europe and extend the immediate reach of the Moscow's intelligence services.
After Minsk, another period of calm ensued but did not result in peace, but rather another Russian offensive on the Donbas
. New troops were ready to strike by end of May 2015 and by the beginning of June, the fighting for Marinka saw the last major armed assault by Russian forces on a Ukrainian position.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavlo Klimkin said that the autonomy of Donbas
might weaken Ukraine and even break it up, as Russia wants.
"For over the 20 months, Russia's aggression against my country has been continued through the financing of terrorists and mercenaries, and supply of arms and military equipment to illegal armed groups in Donbas
But if Ukraine's government and the West remain united, the Kremlin might see that its enclaves in Donbas
represent a threat mainly to Russia itself.
On November 20, Marchuk sacked Poltavets, director of a Donbas
coal association prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union, for not initiating "structural reorganization" of the beleaguered industry.
This sharp escalation of attacks is taking place along with ongoing massive supplies of military equipment, weapons and ammunition as well as mercenaries and regular troops to Donbas
by the Russian Federation.
This article investigates the roles special operations forces (SOF) have fulfilled in Russian warfare against Ukraine--both in Crimea and in Donbas
. It starts with a brief survey of the different types of Russian SOF and how these forces fit into the "hybrid" warfare paradigm.
Speaking in an interview given to Russia's NTV channel, the president stressed that the Minsk ceasefire agreement is "a great achievement" but added that there is more work to be done in order to resolve the conflict in southeastern Ukraine (Donbas
The question is why Russian President Vladimir Putin and his entourage view a frozen conflict in Donbas
, created to preclude a political settlement or lasting peace, as a positive outcome for their country.