Kremlin ready to "surrender" Donbas - Tuka predicts return of eastern territories under Ukraine control by mid-2018
Ukraine’s Deputy Minister for the Occupied Territories George Tuka is sure that Moscow does not see the occupied territories acceding to Russia, according to Novoye Vremya magazine.
Ukraine will regain control over the occupied territories of Donbas either next year or before June 2018, George Tuka wrote in his column for Novoye Vremya.
"Now Russia is ready to give Donbas back only on its own terms. However, I am sure that Ukraine will be able to take over the initiative and implement its scenario for the return of the occupied territories. I really hope that this will happen next year or maximum by mid-2018. However, it is critically important to retain the support of Europe and the United States," he wrote.
At the same time, Tuka noted that populist forces in Russia have become more active recently, who say that it is necessary to "fence off" from Donbas.
Tuka comments on possibility of pro-Ukrainian uprising in DonbasTuka moved on to claim that many factors point to the fact that Moscow does not see the occupied territories of Luhansk and Donetsk regions acceding to Russia.
"There are lots of facts supporting the suggestion that the Kremlin is ready to 'surrender' Donbas. The Russian Federation clearly does not see these areas in its composition. The clearest evidence is seen when comparing the actions of Russian occupation forces in Crimea and Donbas," Tuka wrote.
In particular, he noted that looting and destruction of enterprises are blooming in Donbas.
"They are actually dooming the region to economic extinction. No such things are observed in Crimea," wrote the deputy minister, adding that the Russian authorities make big companies invest in the occupied Crimea instead.
Tuka names another threat to Donbas conflict settlement"I'm an optimist. I hope and want to believe that we will finally have peace, and that we will return both Donbas and Crimea. At the same time, in my view, we need to focus on the following aspects: a fight against internal populism, an effective battle against corruption, and a military solution to the conflict – in this order, exactly," he wrote.
As UNIAN reported earlier, in the past 24 hours, Russian-backed militants in Donbas opened fire in all directions using grenade launchers, mortars, and small arms. It is reported that in the direction of Mariupol, the militants shelled Talakivka, Shyrokine and Vodiane from 120mm mortars. A total of 38 militant attacks were recorded.