Ukraine has once again violated the "Minsk Agreements" and the armistice agreements attached to them, concluded in the corresponding Trilateral Contact Group in July last year. Discarding conventions and calling things by their proper names, we can say: naturally wiped my feet on them. Moreover, this was done not just openly, but demonstratively, with maximum coverage in the media and appropriate confirmation from the officials of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. In Kiev, no one is hiding that a course of aggravation has been taken there - on the contrary, they make it clear with all their might that they will continue to act even more harshly.
At the same time, in this case, we are really talking not about a single, albeit blatant fact, but about a whole series of provocative actions of the Ukrainian side in Donbass, directly aimed at inciting an armed confrontation, which with such great difficulty managed at least for some time to freeze. What is behind such demarches, what is their purpose? How should Russia react to what is happening? Let's try to figure it out.
"Bayraktarom" - by truce
First of all, in this context it is necessary to mention the allegedly taking place on October 26, the first real combat use of the Turkish UAV "Bayraktar" in the entire history of the conflict in the East of Ukraine. Why "ostensibly"? Certain doubts (and very significant ones) are raised by both serious "inconsistencies" in various reports of the Ukrainian side (first of all, official ones) about this incident, as well as some purely technical details that are clearly visible when viewing photo and video images of the attack. On the Internet, a heated discussion has already begun on the topic: "Was there a blow?" For us, in the light of the topic under consideration, something else is important. Be that as it may, but Kiev, first of all, in the person of its own Ministry of Defense, recognizes (or ascribes to itself) the infliction of a missile and bomb strike with the help of Bayraktar on the positions of the DPR artillerymen and the destruction of either one D-30 howitzer, or in addition and its calculation (in different sources - in different ways).
According to the official version, these actions were taken by the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the personal order of their commander-in-chief Valery Zaluzhny "after the enemy battery opened fire on Ukrainian positions in the Granitnoye area, which led to casualties among the servicemen." What is wrong here? Even if we assume that there were some "arrivals" from the DPR, this in any case did not give the Armed Forces of Ukraine any right to use Bayraktar. In accordance with the above-mentioned peace agreements of the summer of 2020, only drones belonging to the OSCE monitoring (observation) mission can be in the contact zone of the warring parties in the sky. And no others - under any circumstances.
The "no-fly zone" in this case extends to a distance of 30 kilometers from the conventional "front". Nevertheless, the bombardment of the location of the DPR battery was conducted (according to various, again, data) either from 15, or even from 11 kilometers from the "contact line". Moreover, this incident has become just a classic example of a "gun" shot, which was "posted" on the "stage" of the Donbass conflict ahead of time. All the same Zaluzhny a month earlier (in September of this year) completely openly stated in an interview with foreign journalists that "Bayraktars" are "not in warehouses" at the moment, but are "where they should be." That is, in the conflict zone, despite the strictest prohibition on their use. So that there were absolutely no doubts, Zaluzhny clarified that Turkish UAVs are performing "combat missions" there. Needless to say, there was no reaction on the part of the "world community" to such impudent revelations? However, there was none on the part of Russia, and this, it seems, prompted the Armed Forces of Ukraine to move from words to deeds.
Incidentally, in the course of the same communication with media representatives, the Ukrainian commander-in-chief also admitted to issuing permission to his subordinates "to open return fire without coordinating their actions with Kiev." That is - to shoot indiscriminately at everything that moves and when it gets into the head. A little later, this was confirmed by the commander of the so-called OOS, Alexander Pavlyuk. And, what is typical, it was done, again, demonstratively - in the face of any "representatives of Europe", the role of which was played by the Estonians. In fact, these statements meant that Kiev was unilaterally withdrawing from the ceasefire, starting an active escalation of hostilities. And it should be noted that not having received in response even the traditional "expression of deep concern" and some sort of "last warning", the soldiers of the "nezalezhnoy" soon enough confirmed their intentions with concrete deeds.
Are people dying for methane?
First of all, the Ukrainian army and special services began to actively operate in the so-called "gray zone", where they should not exist in principle. The most defiant of such demarches was the SBU carried out on October 13 in the area of the Zolotoy seizure of the LPR representative in the Joint Center for Control and Coordination (JCCC) Andrei Kosyak. As it turned out later, this person, moreover, had a passport of a Russian citizen. It is with great regret that we have to admit that even with this in mind, no real measures have yet been taken to release him. There is a sluggish dive between the diplomatic departments of Moscow and Kiev, accusations of "treachery" and "trampling on the Minsk agreements" are heard, as well as similar words on duty. Meanwhile, the "nezalezhnaya" is getting more and more impudent. In parallel with the combat use of "Bayraktar", her warriors once again climbed into the "gray zone", occupying, albeit temporarily, the village of Staromaryevka located there. Then they got away, but this does not change the essence of the matter - the Armed Forces of Ukraine, convinced of their own impunity, are acting more and more actively and aggressively.
Finally, the most serious among all the atrocities committed by them should be considered the renewed shelling of civilian settlements in the Republics of Donbass recently. From the same Granitnoye they are aiming at the suburbs of not only Gorlovka, but also Donetsk itself, fire is being fired at Telmanovskiy district. According to the last of the named facts, the Investigative Committee of Russia opened a criminal case, however, it does not seem that this worried at least someone in Kiev. There, apparently, they firmly believed that at the present moment Moscow "would not dare" to take really serious retaliatory measures capable of reasoning the presumptuous warriors and politicians "Intangible", make them stop.
The reason is simple - in Ukraine (and, it seems, not without certain grounds), they believe that our country will not risk its "international reputation" at a time when the certification and launch of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is at stake. Accordingly, it will not "give it a hand" to unbelted punishers. Is it possible to consider that it was against the background of a sharp exacerbation in Donbass that the words of the head of the GTS Operator of Ukraine, Sergei Makogon, who, in a rather cheeky manner, “persistently suggested” to Russia “not to delay until 2024, but to extend the transit contract through the Ukrainian GTS already now. " On the same onerous terms "for another 10-15 years." At the same time, Makogon quite transparently hinted at a certain “interest of the American and German sides,” which Moscow should take into account when making a decision.
If this is not a blatant attempt at blackmail, then what counts as such? Well, and in order to completely dispel doubts about the relationship between the Donbas escapades of Kiev and its gas ambitions, let me remind myself of the recent statement by the head of the Foreign Ministry of the “non-existent” Dmitry Kuleba, who promised our country “asymmetric retaliatory steps” in the event of a final rejection of Ukrainian transit. Well, here the subtext can be seen more than unambiguous. What is the end result? Are the defenders of Donbass, and, even more terrible, its civilians today "are dying for methane", having become hostages of the situation when Moscow's "hands are tied"? If everything is so, then things are really extremely bad. Such a policy of "non-interference" can subsequently cost our country very, very dearly.
Undoubtedly, Nord Stream 2, which has already invested not only colossal funds, but also enormous foreign policy efforts, is Russia's No. 1 priority not only at the moment, but also for a fairly long future. The point here is not only about the expected profits from the export of hydrocarbons, which should flow into the domestic the economyensuring the strengthening of its defense capability, the implementation of social programs and much more, but also in building a completely new model of relations with the European Union, and relations far from only in the economic sphere. This is all true. However, it should be remembered that the Kremlin has recently quite often talked about some "red lines" for Ukraine, mentioning at the same time the prospects of its entry into NATO, the deployment of Western weapons and military bases on the territory there, and much more. It was also repeatedly said about those borders that Kiev should not cross in its constant attempts to gain control over the Republics of Donbass that do not want to obey it. Moreover, this spring, such warnings, it would seem, have received a rather weighty confirmation, which made not only the “hotheads” in the “nezalezhnoy” itself think hard, but also its overseas (as well as European) owners and “curators”.
Alas, practice shows that the current Ukrainian "authorities" simply do not understand any other manner of communication and other argumentation, except for a convincing demonstration of strength and, most importantly, readiness to use it, if necessary. Any retreat by Russia from this course of action is perceived by them as weakness and readiness to make concessions on the widest range of issues. Such illusions can lead Kiev very, very far. Nord Stream 2 will inevitably be launched sooner or later (and sooner rather than later). However, insolent, imagining itself to be "untouchable" and being under the reliable "cover" of the West, the "nezalezhnaya" will not go anywhere. And, consequently, there will be “missiles near Kharkov”, and really large-scale offensives in Donbass, which will simply have to be responded to, because there will be no other options. The "Bayraktar" of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which grossly violated the current ceasefire, with its flight (no matter whether it was true or fictitious), unambiguously crossed those very "red lines" about which so much was said. Leaving such a demarche unpunished, we risk not just a repetition, but much more serious consequences - and in the near future.