Kiev’s bogus ceasefire

By our European Affairs correspondent

RUSSIAN peace efforts continued this week with a call for an extension of the ceasefire and the start of serious negotiations between the Kiev junta and the anti-fascist forces who are in control of eastern Ukraine.

Last week the Kremlin welcomed the call from Ukraine’s new president, Petro Poroshenko, for a seven-day ceasefire, which was acceptedby the self-defence forces on Monday. But any hopes that this would speed the peace process were soon dashed when the fascist militias violated the truce by launching new attacks in the Donetsk region, provoking a new round of fighting in which a Ukrainian army helicopter was shot down by anti-fascist units.

Earlier in the week Russian president, Vladimir Putin, formally handed back emergency powers granted by his parliament in March to deploy Russian troops into Ukraine to protect the population. Putin stressed that negotiations should not just focus on stopping military actions. There should be dialogue “about specific arrangements between all sides in the conflict”.

At the same time Kiev should not be demanding disarmament in eastern Ukraine, given that: “Radical elements like the Right Sector and other radical [groups] are not yet disarmed, despite repeatedly talking about that and basically promising that illegal groups will lay down arms.”

"In such conditions demanding militias to lay down arms, in my opinion, makes no sense,” Putin said. The Russian leader stressed that this would not mean that Russia “will not be paying attention to what is going on there”. Moscow will continue to protect the rights of the ethnic Russian-speaking population in Ukraine — “hopefully” without the involvement of military forces.

Though the anti-fascist forces have not ruled out a settlement based on regional autonomy and a democratic federal constitution for Ukraine, the relentless provocations from the fascists makes a complete break almost inevitable.

This week the self-proclaimed Lugansk and Donetsk People's Republics took further steps towards complete sovereignty with plans for popular votes to adopt a constitution for Novorossia, the federation of largely Russian-speaking Ukrainian provinces in the south and east of the country.

And Russia has issued an international arrest warrant for two Ukrainian officials who were accused of having used heavy weapons in military operations in eastern Ukraine, causing deaths and injuries of many civilians and plenty of refugees.

The two Ukrainian officials were identified as Interior Minister Arsen Avakov and Dnepropetrovsk Region Governor Igor Kolomoisky. In addition to the alleged use of forbidden weapons, the two were also charged with escalating cases of murders and kidnappings, as well as the deteriorating security situation of journalists working in Ukraine. A resolution has been passed to put the two officials on an international wanted list via Interpol, which will be effective on the territories of all Interpol member states.

Meanwhile the leader of the Communist Party of Ukraine, Petr Symonenko, has denied Kiev regime claims that his party has been recruiting militiamen in the city of Slavyansk, eastern Ukraine.

These claims stem from a video posted on the Kiev regime’s Security Service (SBU) website, which shows two captured militiamen telling security forces that he had been recruited and armed by the communists. But the allegations, part of the Nazi-oligarch regime’s campaign to ban the communists and drive them out of the Kiev parliament, have been dismissed by the communist leader as worthless lies.

What they are trying to pass off as a militant's "revelations" is actually a worthless "fake" and falsification. Obviously the person giving the "testimony" has absolutely no idea who recruited him. He was forced to repeat the earlier prepared lie," Symonenko declared.

"We have already forwarded an appropriate parliamentary request to the head of SBU demanding that he explain what criminal cases have been opened and against whom based on the testimony given by the person who is portrayed as a terrorist in this video," the Communist Party leader said.