“This is a predictable response from the Kremlin. The escalation in tensions began after it was announced by the governing “Sluha Narodu” party that Ukraine would never agree to constitutional changes regarding the special status of Donbas. President Zelenskyy would not consider taking that action,” says Sniehyrov.
At the same time, he emphasizes that it is no coincidence that such actions were undertaken in order to escalate military tensions precisely in the Mariupol sector. It is a very deliberate scenario of Russia, not just of one commander who could later be blamed for being careless. Like weights on a scale, on the one hand there is a ceasefire in the “LPR,” where at Stanytsia Luhansk the collaborators observe the agreed-upon terms of the ceasefire, while on the other hand there is an escalation of hostilities in the “DPR,” where ostensibly no agreement has of yet been reached, Sniehyrov explains.
The expert states that the Kremlin has no interest in following the steps towards peace that Ukraine is taking, and is only interested in occupying Ukrainian territory in the Donbas. Russia needs Ukraine in its entirety. Such is the meaning of this provocation, to show the West that Russia considers Ukraine as its zone of military-political influence, and that the Moscow scenario is the only path to the suspension of hostilities, namely to change the Constitution of Ukraine in order to grant special status to the individual raions of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts (ORDLO)
“Putin is conducting a test on Zelensky, to see the extent to which he can endure this blow. It’s a self-declared challenge, to measure how resolute the Ukrainian president’s response will be. The duration of the ceasefire will depend on what steps Ukraine will take in the immediate future.” says Sniehyrov about the situation in Donbas.