Despite its obligations under the Minsk Peace Agreement, signed in 2015, the Ukrainian government is continuing to expand its military capabilities against Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. At the end of October, it used Bayraktar TB2 drones manufactured in Turkey for the first time.
In response to an alleged separatist bombardment, Ukraine used the TB2 drone to destroy a Russian-made howitzer, putting Russian troops on the Ukrainian border and risking renewed all-out war between Moscow and NATO-backed Kiev provoked.
The attack in the separatist-controlled village of Hranitne, via which the New York Times On Tuesday it became clear again that the government of President Volodymyr Zelenskyj is pursuing an escalation policy in the reintegration of the breakaway provinces of Lugansk and Donetsk in eastern Ukraine.
Over the past year, the Ukrainian ruling class has sought to deepen military ties with the Turkish government, with both powers attempting to reduce Russian naval control over the strategic Black Sea region. The Ukrainian government offered Ankara advanced missile technology in return for the coveted Turkish-made armed aerial drones.
Drones played a pivotal role in Azerbaijan’s defeat to Russia-backed Armenia last year in the Nagarno-Karabakh War, and the Ukrainian oligarchy was quick to get excited about their possible use against their own Russia-backed separatists.
Kiev received its first shipment of drones in July and plans to purchase around 50 of the TB2 drones. In September both sides signed a memorandum to create a joint drone training and maintenance center in Ukraine.
Russia has, as expected, reacted with hostility to the use of drones in Ukraine, which could spark a new wave of targeted bombings and murders across Kiev in the seven-year war that has claimed more than 14,000 lives.
In a speech on Russian state television about drones and Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin accused the Zelenskyi government of violating the Minsk agreements of 2015, which expressly prohibit the use of air forces:
“Now the incumbent president happily reports that they are using Bayraktars, that is, unmanned aerial vehicles. Europe said something incomprehensible and the US even backed it and officials in Ukraine openly say they have used them and will continue to use them. “
With Russian troops gathered over the northern border in response to the drone operation, the Zelensky government has continued to duplicitously portray Russia as the aggressor as it prepares for war domestically and refuses to abide by the 2015 Minsk Peace Accords, which calling for a ceasefire. free elections and a special federal status for the breakaway provinces.
Regarding the reported Russian build-up of troops, Zelenskyi said hypocritically in a recorded video speech: “I hope the whole world can now see clearly who really wants peace and who is concentrating almost 100,000 soldiers on our border.”
In reality, the right-wing government of Zelenskyi, which originally came to power thanks to massive opposition to the militaristic, nationalist policies of former President Petro Poroshenko, has taken increasingly ruthless measures to provoke Russia and obtain military and economic support from its imperialist supporter, namely the United States, France, and Germany.
In March of this year, Zelenskyi and the country’s National Security and Defense Council provocatively adopted a strategy aimed at retaking Crimea and reintegrating the strategically important peninsula. That move eventually led to a similar Russian build-up of troops along the border last spring, although Moscow later withdrew its troops.
In addition to buying Turkish drones, Zelenskyi’s foreign policy has since only increased the risk of an all-out war between the two countries.
After the withdrawal of Russian forces, the Zelenskyi government spent the summer begging for NATO membership and held a series of joint military and naval exercises openly directed against Russia.
In August, the Zelenskyi government held its first “Crimean Platform” summit, at which its imperialist supporters gathered in Kiev. Zelenskyj took photos with world leaders and declared: “Crimea is Ukraine”.
In response, the Russian government openly declared its opposition to Ukraine joining NATO, stating: “President Putin has repeatedly pointed to the possible expansion of NATO infrastructure on Ukrainian territory and (he) has said that it would cross the red lines that he’s spoken to before. “
The great powers of NATO ruthlessly supported the escalation of Kiev. French President Emmanuel Macron warned Putin by phone on Monday that he was ready to defend Ukraine in the event of war between the two countries.
“Our willingness to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine has been confirmed by the president,” a French adviser to Macron told reporters about the phone call between the leaders of the two nuclear armed countries.
The US has dispatched a missile destroyer, the tanker USNS John Lenthall and the staff ship USS Mount Whitney, to participate in the US Joint Forces Command Europe military exercises in the Black Sea.
Last Sunday the British press reported that Britain was preparing to send 600 soldiers to Ukraine.
Ukraine itself has deployed 8,500 soldiers on its side of the border with Russia and announced that parts of its fleet will be moving from the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov, whose waters are being claimed by Russia.
Tensions between Moscow and Kiev escalate as the conflict between neighboring Poland and Belarus escalates over a refugee crisis in which thousands of desperate migrants seeking a safe haven in the EU were trapped at the border and brutalized by Polish forces. Russia, allied with the Belarusian government, is accused of playing a central role in orchestrating the crisis.