Reuters reported on Wednesday that some of the separatists in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region don’t think the chance of all-out war breaking out in the region is imminent.
The report cited political and military sources in the region, including Andrei Purgin, a politician and the co-founder of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), which declared independence, along with the Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR), in the wake of the 2014 US-backed coup in Kyiv.
Purgin said he didn’t expect any significant changes for now in the low-level conflict that has essentially been at a stalemate since 2015. But he does foresee a major shift over the next six months. “This will either be a final peace, or there is a very high probability of very serious escalations,” he said.
Reuters also cited two unnamed “separatist sources” that said they don’t expect a major military escalation until the Spring. “The time for diplomacy has not yet passed,” one source said.
Amid all the hype about Russia’s military movements, DPR and LPR officials have been warning that Ukraine is preparing an offensive in the Donbas based on the deployment of military assets near the conflict zone. Back in December, Russia said Ukraine had deployed half of its army, about 125,000 troops, to the Donbas.
If there is an escalation in the Donbas war, regardless of who the aggressor is, the US is poised to blame Russia. The US has claimed — without offering a shred of evidence — that Moscow is plotting a “false flag” operation in the Donbas or a “propaganda video” that shows a fake attack to justify an invasion of Ukraine.