Anti-fascist rebels hold fast

by our European Affairs correspondent

The truce between the Ukrainian puppet regime and the anti-fascist rebels in the east appears to be holding despite a weekend of sporadic clashes around Donetsk airport and on the outskirts of Mariupol.

Representatives of the Kiev regime and the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics reached a range of agreements including a ceasefire at talks in the Belarusian capital of Minsk last week following earlier talks between the Russian and Ukrainian leaders.

The Minsk protocol was signed on 5th September as a result of a meeting of the trilateral contact group on joint steps aimed at the implementation of the peace plan drawn up by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. It calls for a stand-still ceasefire, an “all-for-all” exchange of prisoners-of-war, a general amnesty for all combatants and “special status” for the rebel republics that have formed the Novorossiya Union and the “decentralisation of power” in Ukraine.

Partisan leaders believe that this truce is will turn out to be only a temporary lull in the fighting. The proposed “temporary self-administration” of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, as the Kiev regime calls it, falls way short of rebel demands and the Kiev government has stressed that the federalisation of Ukraine and the recognition of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) are out of question.

But in the liberated areas of eastern Ukraine the people are making the most of it. Monday was declared a public holiday to celebrate the liberation of the Donbas from the Nazis during the Second World War. Thousands attended the a rally in Donetsk’s Lenin Komsomol Park including veterans of the Great Patriotic War while in other towns flowers were laid at the monuments to Soviet commanders and soldiers to mark the defeat of the Nazi legions at the hands of the Red Army.

Meanwhile, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu says that Ukraine bore “full responsibility” for the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 on 17th July. Shoigu was speaking after Dutch investigators released a preliminary report on Tuesday, saying that the plane, which crashed in rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine, was hit by by “objects” that “pierced the plane at high velocity”.

“The tragedy occurred in the airspace of Ukraine, which bears full, absolute responsibility for what happened,” said Shoigu. If Ukraine had solved its internal problems without the use of the armed forces, the tragedy would never have happened, the Russian minister declared.

“We formulated ten simple questions to the Ukrainian side, the answers to which could shed light on circumstances of the tragedy. Unfortunately, we have not received a response to any of the questions”