Russian TV often broadcasts the message that Russia is such a great power that it is simply impossible to solve any global problem without its participation. However, this propaganda fails to recall that the Kremlin has created many of these problems specifically to demonstrate its alleged "greatness." Russia’s main commodity nowadays is war, and its main offer to the world stays within the range of just two options: "to shoot" or "not to shoot." And given that this is one of the world’s strongest nuclear potentials, it's no wonder that politicians around tend to explore ways to negotiate with the "Russian bear."
The OSCE patrol vehicle was blown up in the occupied part of Luhansk region in eastern Ukraine. As a result, one American paramedic was killed while another two foreign monitors were wounded. It has become yet another bitter reminder to the whole world that the war in Donbas is still ongoing, while Russia continues to commit its war crimes. By tradition, the first crew to film the aftermath of the "provocation" by a mythical "Ukrainian subversive group" was that of the Russian state TV channel, accompanied by unidentified men sporting camos with no insignia.
By tradition, the first crew to film the aftermath of the "provocation" by a mythical "Ukrainian subversive group" was that of the Russian state TV channel
While the OSCE is calling for an independent investigation of this terrorist act, control over the crime scene and access to it are solely in the hands of the Russians. It is no coincidence that the head of the Russian side to the JCCC, Comrade Yeremin, personally came to monitor the situation on the scene. Russian militants have already blamed Ukraine and the monitors themselves, who allegedly strayed from the main route and moved along secondary roads, which is prohibited by the mission’s mandate. There is a deja vu effect here. It already happened so in the summer of 2014. First, the Russians managed to boast the downing of the Ukrainian AN-26 military cargo plane, but when it became clear that they struck the passenger aircraft flight NH17, they started to produce versions claiming the "Ukrainian trace" in the tragedy. The propaganda machine invented the testimony of a sham Spanish ground control officer “Carlos” and the ridiculous version of the attack by the Ukrainian warplane. The fighters against "fascism" even suggested there had been corpses on board MH17, specially planted to discredit the adepts of the "Russian world." In the meantime, no one was allowed to be present at the crash scene but the Russian “experts.” The world evidenced something of this kind happening in 2010, in the immediate aftermath of the Smolensk tragedy when a Polish Tu-154 crashed, taking lives of the Polish political elite.
Now everything is done in line with the similar scenario. Russia requires that the investigation be carried out, putting the blame on the Ukrainian military. At the same time, it’s only the Russians who enjoy unimpeded access to the site of the explosion and the whole occupied part of Donbas in general.
Besides, this terrorist attack against the monitors will definitely bring their activities down. The threat of physical violence will affect anyone, especially an unarmed person. In this situation, will probably be seeing fewer reports by OSCE SMM on the movement of Russian tanks and the blocking of the monitors’ access across the area by armed Russian troops.
Less independent reports is exactly what the "liberators" need. It’s no wonder the militants have not issued accreditation to most Western journalists for over a year already, and thus blocked their work in the region.
And no matter how hard Russian officials stress that "there are no Russians there" and "this is an internal conflict", the region will never see peace without a truly independent peacekeeping mission being deployed
In Russia, they sincerely hoped until recently that following Trump's victory, they would be able to settle things quietly and divide the world in a "brotherly manner," and return Ukraine to the stall of the "family of nations", but everything seems to have gone wrong. The Americans have not been showing any interest in the Ukrainian crisis, limiting themselves to general statements about the extension of sanctions.
And now the death of a U.S. citizen will force the Trump administration to look more closely at what is happening in Donbas and explore ways to get Russians to come to their senses, as they say.
And no matter how hard Russian officials stress that "there are no Russians there " and "this is an internal conflict", the region will never see peace without a truly independent peacekeeping mission being deployed. Without a round-the-clock international control over this "gray zone" – non-controlled part of the Ukrainian-Russian border – Russia’s supplies of mines and other means to feed this war will continue.
After all, it’s no coincidence that even a formal press release by the Russian Foreign Ministry recalls the fulfillment of the political, economic and humanitarian provisions of the Minsk "Set of Measures," without saying a word about security issues.
Roman Tsymbaliuk, Moscow