To confirm his words, Poroshenko reminded of the two recently detained Russian citizens, whom Ukrainian authorities consider the fighters of Russian special ops units, while the Kremlin claims they were former military.
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Mr Poroshenko told the BBC’s Fergal Keane: “Can I be absolutely clear with you this is not a fight with Russian-backed separatists, this is a real war with Russia.”
He added that “the fact that we captured… Russian regular special forces soldiers [is] strong evidence of that.”
Poroshenko also said that he is waiting for a military offensive from pro-Russian rebels’ side in eastern Ukraine as early as this summer.
When asked whether he fears this kind of scenario or not, he said, “I do not fear anything. I believe they are preparing an offensive and I think we should be ready and I think that we do not give them any tiny chance for provocation. That will totally be their responsibility.”
Pro-Russian rebels have repeatedly accused Poroshenko of preparing offensives on their ‘people’s republics’.
Poroshenko also said that he did not trust his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. Despite this fact, he believes that Ukraine had no option but to have faith in diplomacy.
However, in order to regain control over Donbass, there’s “no other option” but to hold peace talks with Russia. “I don’t think we can regain our territory through military means,” he said.
Pro-Russian rebels have recently made significant gains in eastern Ukraine, including, the rail hub of Debaltseve. The rebels as well as Russia, have repeatedly denied the fact that Russia fuels the conflict.
Ukraine wages a war against its own citizens
Meanwhile, according to Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov, the Ukrainian authorities are shelling their own citizens and that this is the exact matter that should be widely discussed today.
“We don’t agree with these comments. It must be pointed out that Ukraine wages a war against its own citizens. The Ukrainian citizens. They are the ones who shell them, and as a result, their citizens die. And that matter should be discussed today,” he said.
The Security Service of Ukraine published a video with an interrogation of the two detained Russians in Luhansk region. In the video, both men talk about the assigned mission on Ukraine’s territory and how they had been detained in Donbass. Ukrainian media have widely covered this video and presented it as an evidence of Russian army’s presence in eastern Ukraine.
The United Nations stated that more than 6,000 people have been killed since fighting started in eastern Ukraine in April 2014.
Officially, Russia and Ukraine are not at war, however, the Ukrainian authorities claim that the eastern Ukraine’s conflict is instigated and supported by the regular Russian army, which, in turn, denies any allegations. Poroshenko said November last year that his country was ready for an “all-out” war against Russia.
On March 1, 2014, the Federation Council of Russia permitted Vladimir Putin to bring its troops in Ukraine’s territory due to the “extraordinary situation” and “the threat to lives of citizens and Russian military” in Crimea. The permit was then cancelled by Putin at the end of June same year when Crimea had already been a part of Russia.
The Truth About Russia’s Involvement In Ukraine Crisis
As reported by ValueWalk one week ago, Reuters reached out to five Russian soldiers, who had just left the military service along with their fellow Russian soldiers. Two of them admitted that the reason for such a decision was the fact that the Kremlin sends its troops to fight in eastern Ukraine alongside pro-Russian rebels.
One of the solders, who is a former military that served in the elite Kantemirovskaya division, currently lives in Moscow. On the condition of anonymity, he told Reuters that he was sent to the Rostov region in summer 2014 to take part in the ‘drills’. However, he ended up being taken to Ukraine on the Russian T-72B3 tank along with other military hardware.
“Right after crossing the border, some general told me that soldiers can be sent to prison for the disobedience to orders. That’s why some us refused to stay there any longer,” the young man tells Reuters. He added that he heard of a great number of soldiers who refused to fight in Ukraine.
“I saw two soldiers who refused to fight with my own eyes. They were taken somewhere. The general said that criminal charges were filed against them. But as it turned out, we called them later and they said that they were home, they simply quitted,” the former trooper said.
A new Cold War is in the cards
And while the current war between Russia and Ukraine is widely discussed around the world, there are also concerns over a possible war between the West and Russia.
The concerns are particularly escalated due to the fact that the West constantly conducts military drills on Russia’s doorsteps. Especially given the fact that these war games include thousands of troops and are taking place in such countries as Estonia and Lithuania, and Russia seems very fixated on both of them.
The NATO’s operation, which is codenamed Dynamic Mongoose and is expected to last for two weeks, involves forces from the United States, Britain, Germany, Latvia, Poland and Sweden.
Russia, in turn, has been playing its own war games around the coasts of Europe using its aircraft and submarines. Furthermore, there were reports of Moscow’s aircraft crossing into the Baltic states’ air space, which is a highly dangerous thing given the current circumstances.