By Lesya Senishin
“On April 23, UN-led aid convoy brought 23 tonnes of humanitarian goods across the contact line in east Ukraine after a humanitarian convoy crossed the contact line into the non-Government-controlled territory.
This was the second UN-organised convoy to pass through the Novotroitske crossing point since it reopened for the delivery of humanitarian cargo a little over a week ago.
The crossing is currently the only one that is operational for humanitarian aid deliveries along the contact line. It had been closed for humanitarian cargo movement since 24 February owing to security concerns,”, reports the UN Humanitarian section of News.
This is a terrible reality that only one crossing point is open for humanitarian deliveries now while there were four or five in past. The recent surge in hostilities along the “contact line” after seven months of relative calm following the July 2020 ceasefire has also resulted in more hardship and security risks for people forced to cross the contact line to access essential services. Unconfirmed reports have indicated that people have resorted to taking the uncontrolled Ukrainian-Russian crossing point, which can be subject to administrative fines and legal challenges, in addition to incurring high travel costs.
European Union foreign ministers met at a virtual conference but nothing came out of this meeting because the EU has no good relations with Russia while Russia had built up a troop presence on the Ukraine border and in Crimea. EU authorities confirm that more than 150,000 Russian troops massing on the Ukrainian borders and in Crimea. The risk of further escalation is evident. Ukrainian Defense Minister Andriy Taran had put the estimated number of troops at 110,000. The US Pentagon said that the military buildup was greater than the one during 2014, and it was not clear whether it was for training purposes.
Since 2014, Eastern Ukraine is soaked in human blood and this tragedy is becoming historic but the verbal badminton of the leaders of big powers instantly becomes food for journalists and political scientists to chew but without any results and without any comfort to people who are losing home on the international system.
This situation looks like a card layout. Everyone is looking for a way to monetize their version of the development of events. Technology allows you to be independent of government control over the media or sing along with those who are interested in promoting their narrative. Propaganda and fakes are presented, as the truth and big politics descend to the level of showdowns.
Only the truth is much harsher, especially when for almost a month, under the guise of exercises, Russia was deploying troops to the Ukrainian border and to the Crimea.
In this confrontation, Ukraine looks like a country that must constantly prove to the whole world that it has decided on the direction to the West and paid a great price for it. Russia, at the same time, manifests itself as a bloodthirsty country that continues to live by the standards of the 19th century, not imagining its existence without Ukraine.
The question of the possibility of a full-scale war between countries becomes legitimate. Will the US intervene in the situation? What will they say in Europe?
European leaders, as always, expressed their deep concern over this fact and called on Russia to reduce the degree of tension by drawing “red lines” for it.
On April 23rd, Russian troops received an order to return the troops pulled to the borders of Ukraine to their places of permanent deployment.
In mid-April, the European command of the US Armed Forces assessed the likelihood of an offensive by Russian troops in Ukraine “from low to medium” and expected it to decrease. But by the end of the month, new data made some experts start talking about the fact that Russia could indeed prepare an offensive, although the Kremlin assured that the Russian troops were not threatening anyone.
Russia creates the appearance of withdrawing Russian soldiers to a permanent place until May 1, leaving weapons and everything else in place in one of the camps near Voronezh until September, until the next large-scale exercises. What does all of this mean? Having carried out a large reconnaissance operation, it will not be difficult to transfer personnel very quickly. In the future, it will be possible to regulate the level of tension depending on Russia’s interest. Thus, the withdrawal of troops from the Ukrainian border looks like a strengthening of Russia’s positions. In response, Ukraine tensed and mobilized, spending huge resources.
After the alleged withdrawal of troops and such a statement, the Russian authorities began compiling a list of the so-called “unfriendly countries”. The United States will figure in the top three there.
With this maneuver, Russia wants to “reset” negotiations with the West, which concerns not only Ukraine by means of military-political blackmail, which is traditionally acceptable for it – by force testing. Putin is interested in destroying relations between the West and the United States. Defend the completion of construction
Nord Stream 2 is the most important task in this paradigm. The rapprochement between Ukraine and NATO is also of great concern in Russia.
An important task is a task of seizing a land corridor in Crimea, thanks to which Russia will receive water from the territory of Ukraine and the ability to control part of the territory.
Ukraine is a victim of the promises of the European Union, the United States, and other NATO members because Eastern Ukraine has been subjecting all kinds of human atrocities but no one from the European bloc come forward to save Ukraine from Russian aggression. The responsible world snatched all nuclear weapons from Ukraine with love in past and gave a promise to Ukraine that it would be protected against any foreign aggression. Nobody came to protect Ukraine when it faced the brunt of aggression.
We remember that at the time of independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Ukraine held the third-largest nuclear arsenal in the world, including an estimated 1,900 strategic warheads, 176 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), and 44 strategic bombers. By 1996. Ukraine had returned all of its nuclear warheads to Russia in exchange for economic aid and security assurances.
What did we get in reality against promises? Only destruction, disaster, and blood of our countrymen?
Every nation should learn a lesson from Ukraine before accepting promises from the world to protect the sovereignty and trading national interests.
Lesya Senishin is an independent commentator from Ukraine with a deep interest in South and Central Asia. The views and opinions expressed in this article/Opinion/Comment are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the DND Thought Center and Dispatch News Desk (DND). Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of the DND Thought Center and Dispatch News Desk News Agency.