The fragile ceasefire deal constructed by Russia, France, Germany, and the reluctant Ukrainian Fascist government appears to be holding itself together even after fighting in the contested city of Debaltseve continued days after the deadline for an end to active hostilities had passed.
Late as it may be, the sound of shelling and gunfire was largely silenced in Debaltseve as Ukrainian Fascist forces began exiting the city – whether willingly or otherwise.
The separatist forces have claimed that the Ukrainian forces stationed in Debaltseve had finally begun the process of surrendering en masse. Eduard Basurin, a military spokesman for the separatists, confirmed the taking of 300 Ukrainian military soldiers as prisoner while another senior official in the Donetsk People’s Republic stated that Ukrainian soldiers were “laying down their arms‘in their hundreds.’”
The Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, however, has downplayed the retreat, stating that he had ordered a complete withdrawal of Ukrainian forces from Debaltseve as a means to keep to the terms of the ceasefire agreement. Poroshenko made no mention of why he made these orders two days after the deadline.
Poroshenko said, “We stated and proved that Debaltsevo was under our control and that there was no encirclement. Our units withdrew according to plan in an organized manner. They took military hardware with them – tanks, APCs, artillery pieces, tow-tracks, cars.” He also stated that Kiev forces had been dealing a great deal of damage to the separatist forces over the last several days, although all available evidence seems to contradict this claim.
DPR spokesman, Denis Pushilin disagreed, however, stating that Kiev troops are not evacuating but surrendering. “Most of these formations, which Poroshenko referred to, were defeated by the militia forces, and some of these units surrendered or are surrendering now,” Pushilin said.
However, the question of whether or not this ceasefire will continue to be respected is another issue.
It is well known that neither side expects the ceasefire to last for long. Indeed, it is also well known to informed observers that a number of high-ranking Fascist Ukrainian militants have openly stated that they reserve the right to violate the agreement and wage war upon the Eastern peoples if they deem it necessary.
As RT reported on February 13,
Ukraine’s Right Sector leader Dmitry Yarosh said his radical movement rejects the Minsk peace deal and that their paramilitary units in eastern Ukraine will continue "active fighting" according to their "own plans."
The notorious ultranationalist leader published a statement on his Facebook page Friday, saying that his radical Right Sector movement doesn’t recognize the peace deal, signed by the so-called 'contact group' on Thursday and agreed upon by Ukraine, France, Germany and Russia after epic 16-hour talks.Dmitry Yarosh, now second in command of the Security and National Defense Committee of Ukraine, is a well-known neo-Nazi whose “Right Sector” forces have been responsible for a number of massacres in Ukraine including the now famous Odessa massacre.
Yarosh claimed that any agreement with the eastern militia, whom he calls “terrorists,” has no legal force.
In his statement, Yarosh claimed that that the Minsk deal is contrary to Ukraine’s constitution, so Ukrainian citizens are not obliged to abide by it. Thus if the army receives orders to cease military activity and withdraw heavy weaponry from the eastern regions, the Right Sector paramilitaries, who are also fighting there “reserve the right” to continue the war, he said.
The Right Sector paramilitary organization continues to deploy its combat and reserve units, to train and logistically support personnel, while coordinating its activities with the military command of the Ukrainian army, paramilitary units of the Defense Ministry and the Interior Ministry, he said.
In addition, MP and commander of Ukrainian Volunteer Battalion, Semen Semenchenko, stated that Ukraine should violate the ceasefire and attack the front lines which would be left unguarded provided that the separatists held up to their end of the deal.
For its part, NATO and the US have repeatedly stated their politically motivated “skepticism” about the potential success of the ceasefire while, at the same time, attempting to claim that the separatists and the Russians are violating its terms. For instance, while the shelling tubes are still warm in Debaltseve, NATO is yet again claiming that Russia has transported military equipment, including missiles and other military hardware into eastern Ukraine.
Of course, considering NATO’s track record regarding the so-called “Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine,” such claims should be taken with a huge grain of salt. After all, it was only recently that NATO powers had attempted to claim that Russia was shipping missiles into eastern Ukraine only for it to be revealed soon after that the missiles were headed in the opposite direction inside Russia.
Only recently, “photographic evidence” was presented to members of Congress by Kiev Fascists that the Russian military was active in Eastern Ukraine only for the photographs to be proven obvious fakes almost immediately. The pictures were actually taken in South Ossetia during the Russian military operation in Georgia in 2008.
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