The military operation in eastern Ukraine may enter its final phase in August 2014, and it has actually begun.
A political scientist and head of the Penta Center for Applied Political Studies, Volodymyr Fesenko, said this at a press conference at Ukrinform on Wednesday.
“The war is already entering its final phase. The main task of August is to release Luhansk and Donetsk as part of the anti-terrorist operation and gradually start restoring peaceful life. There are chances for this. Of course, Russia is trying to help separatists in every way possible. Therefore, tanks, mortars, and Grad launchers appear there. But the most effective road to peace is the ousting of separatists and Russian mercenaries from the Donbas. I hope that there will be some progress here,” the expert said.
He added that it “won’t happen automatically” and that it was very important now to support Ukrainian servicemen. Therefore, the Verkhovna Rada at a meeting on Thursday has to work hard and think not only about party interests, but about the interests of the state.
An analyst of the Penta Center for Applied Political Studies, Oleksandr Leonov, in turn, said that the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) were doomed to defeat without Russia’s direct intervention.
“Recent events – the taking over of Savur-Mohyla and the separation of DPR and LPR – are their strategic defeat from a military point of view. This is life as after the Battle of Kursk. The Ukrainian army has currently moved to a strategic offensive and Russian assistance to militants is actually not decisive,” he said.
As reported, the “update” of the DPR leadership is also a sign of the defeat of separatists. “One of the DPR leaders and chairman of their so-called parliament, Pushylin, remained in Russia. There’s a feeling that he does not want to return to Donetsk, because he sees no prospects. DPR Prime Minister Borodai is also in Moscow,” Fesenko said.
The political scientist said that it was indicative that as part of the “update” this self-declared republic is run by the people who are not related to Donetsk region – these are natives of Russia, including Girkin, Borodai, or native of Transdniestria Antufeyev. This is also shows that the issue concerns not the war in Ukraine, but the war waged by Russia and pro-Russian forces – mercenaries fighting not for the Donbas, but against Ukraine, for its breakup, and in the interests of another state, Fesenko said.