Ukraine – Permanently Unstable

  • Mars Desert Research Station. Fot. McKay Salisbury; licencja: CC-BY-2.5; źródło: Wikimedia Commons

It was on Thursday when the Ukrainian Army informed that three soldiers were killed and fourteen were wounded during the recent intensive fights that are taking place in the Eastern region of the country.Both sides of the conflict accuse one another of numerous provocations and of initiating operations that have been banned by the Minsk memorandum.

Yet, more and more realistic worries regarding the potential escalation of the conflict in the whole region arise. The Ukrainians claim, as Andriy Lysenko from the Ukrainian National Security Council stated, that no quantitative change is observable when it comes to the fights between the government’s forces and the separatists. In fact, it’s just the opposite – some of the smaller battles are transformed into full scale military operations with the use of the artillery or tanks. Both of these types of armament have been banned by the relevant memorandums. Separatist militia carried out three attacks on positions located close to the infamous town of Marinka.

According to the Ukrainians, none of these attacks was successful, and the aggressors were pushed away. At the same time, despite the arrangements negotiated with involvement of the German and the Russian authorities, the disputed territory is still an arena, within which heavy weaponry is being utilized. In the region where so called ATO counter-terrorism operation is being carried out, artillery and small arms fire is constantly present. The separatists, lately, attacked the Ukrainian positions with the use of mortars, cannons and howitzers, with calibres of 120, 122 and 152 mm. Grad multiple rocket launchers were also utilized, inflicting damage among the local civilians.

At the same time, changes in the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) took place. At request of the Ukrainian President, the parliament dismissed Valentin Nalyvaichenko, who was working as the SBU head so far. Unofficially, the rumours suggest that the dismissal was caused by lack of effectiveness in the SBU’s struggle against corruption, smuggling, and, above all, by the relationship existing between the ex-SBU head and one of the oligarchs, Dmytro Firtash. According to the presidential decree, Vasyl Hrytsak is going to act as the new SBU head, until the new SBU commander is appointed. So far, Hrytsak worked as the first deputy of Nalyvaichenko. The future chief of the Ukrainian SBU is to be appointed between 30th June and 3rd July. Proponents of President Poroshenko stress the fact that the potential candidate may come from the military intelligence, due to the tense international situation, while his political affiliation is irrelevant.