- - Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Conflict in Donbass has flared up again. The Minsk accords seem to be routinely violated by both sides, with shelling by heavy weapons once again becoming commonplace. Civilians are dying again with one woman bleeding to death from shrapnel as she lay in her husband’s arms.

The renewed fighting seems to be centered around the town of Avdiivka in the Donetsk region with the Ukrainian government reporting the deaths of at least 10 soldiers from artillery fire. Critical infrastructure has been damaged, preventing heat and water from being delivered to residents, during a brutal winter with temperatures reaching -18 degrees Centigrade.

With each side blaming each other, the U.S. State Department got involved by issuing this statement, “To avert a larger humanitarian crisis, we call for an immediate, sustained cease-fire and full and unfettered access for OSCE monitors,” referring to an observer mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, reported Reuters.

It seems both sides have an interest in keeping hostilities flaring. Kiev-based independent political analyst Vadim Karasyov said, “Kiev is eager to win support of the new Trump administration, and for this they need to show that separatists and the Kremlin are derailing the peace accords … For the Kremlin, it’s important to show that it holds war and peace in its hands; if the new U.S. administration wants peace in Ukraine, it needs to offer something in return.”

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