Pro-Russian separatist in Donetsk (Eastern Ukraine)

Make no mistake: Russia doesn’t need peace

Russia doesn’t need peace. The peaceful life based on economic and social development, but current Russian leadership is simply unable to provide it. Showing off the largest gas and oil resources in the world, Russian president doesn’t tell about miserable living conditions of most Russian people. At the same time, Moscow uses all the methods to obstruct peaceful life and developing of neighboring countries. The latest example is Ukraine.

Russian occupation of Crimea and its invasion into the Eastern part of Ukraine destroyed the European security system, mounted by Helsinki Final Act. Russia doesn’t intend to implement Minsk agreement signed by the leaders of Germany, Ukraine, France, and Putin himself.

On Jan. 29, Russian army units and separatists controlled by Russia launched massive artillery shelling Avdiivka, a Ukrainian city in the east. Using civilians as a shield, Russia and pro-Russian separatists shelled from the MLRS “Grad”, tanks, 122–152 mm artillery and 82–120 mm mortar systems.

All these weapons banned by the Minsk agreements.

On Jan. 30–31, artillery and rocket shelling intensified. Critical infrastructure that provide water and heat was targeted. The destruction of vital infrastructure in order to create a humanitarian disaster is a classic tactics of terrorists. Such kind of tactics is not new for Russian forces. They always used it against civilians. In this case, the situation has deteriorated with critically low temperatures: 16 thousands residents of Avdiivka, including 2,000 children, were cut off water supplying, electricity and heating, when the temperature outside was -20 Celsius (-4 Fahrenheit).

This is equal to death from cold. Such actions of Russia should be clearly qualified as a war crime.

In January, Ukraine has filed a lawsuit with the International Court of Justice to hold Russia to account for committing acts of terrorism and discrimination within its illegal aggression.

Russian actions in Donbas have the similar nature with the methods that Russian troops used during the recent assault on Aleppo. The same massive air and artillery strikes destroyed the infrastructure and created a humanitarian catastrophe in the city. Entire residential neighborhoods wiped off the map in Aleppo, civilians has been killed.

Avdiivka after shelling by combined Russian-separatist forces

Russians shelled civilians in Avdiivka the same way. Just professionalism of the renewed Ukrainian army could stop the intensive growth of catastrophe made by Russian aggressor.

At the same time, Russia does other terrorist acts against Ukraine, including seizure of Ukrainian hostages.

At least fifty Ukrainians are in Russian prisons with the false accusations by the Kremlin. These political prisoners are not allowed to meet with consuls, their cases considered in closed session, and the most hostages have been tortured.

In such circumstances, international pressure is the only way to help Ukrainian hostages. In late January, PACE adopted a resolution “Attacks on journalists and media freedom in Europe” demanding the release of Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov and journalists Roman Sushchenko and Mykola Semena.

Ukrainian journalists Roman Sushchenko and Mykola Semena
Russia is trying to avoid public disclosure about detained Ukrainians. It is easier to Moscow to fabricate cases in silence.

The reality is very simple: Russian weapons, Russian soldiers, and Russian mercenaries kill Ukrainians. Moscow is not going to stop, but Europe and the U.S. don’t understand it, because Russia stopped at the borders of Ukraine. It is terrible, but Russia really seems to live in a parallel ‘Russian world’ created by own propaganda. The sole purpose of this ‘Russian world’ is destruction.