Ukrainian Civilians Train for War as Ceasefire Violations Increase

Fighting has reignited in eastern Ukraine. Hundreds of violations of the Minsk Protocol have been recorded in the last week, with two Ukrainian soldiers killed and four injured on Saturday. A school and pipeline were among the infrastructure that was damaged.

Kiev alleges the fighting was started by the separatists in the Donbas region. Russia claims it was started by the West’s weapons emboldening the Ukrainian military.

The leaders of the Donbas regions have ordered the conscription of its residents. "I urge my fellow citizens who are in the reserves to come to military conscription offices. Today I signed a decree on general mobilization," said the head of Donetsk People’s Republic Denis Pushilin. The move was matched by the leader of Luhansk, who also banned all 18 to 55-year-old men from leaving the area.

Ukraine has also been offering military training to its general public. NBC News gave favorable coverage to a grandmother who was being taught to shoot by the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion.

French President Emmanuel Macron held a phone call with Putin on Sunday about reestablishing the ceasefire in Ukraine. Paris reports intense negotiations with Germany, Ukraine and Russia will occur over the next few days.

For months, the White House has claimed that a Russian invasion of Ukraine is imminent. Washington says Moscow has the country surrounded with over 130,000 troops, including forces in neighboring Belarus, where Russia’s carried out drills in recent weeks. However, it is unclear how close the Russian troops are to Ukraine’s border.

Moscow’s deputy UN envoy Dmitry Polyanskiy has cast doubt over the alarmist US claims, disputing the ever-growing figures cited in western press reports.

“First of all, who counted [the soldiers] Where do you take this figure 150,000? I remember it was 100,000, then it was 120,000, now it is 150,000, some people say 190,000," he said "I admit inflation is very high here in New York. We see it in the prices, but in the number of soldiers.”

An announcement on Sunday that the Russian military will extend its drills in Belarus has prompted fresh assertions of a looming invasion.

The latest comes from Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who told CNN, “Everything we are seeing suggests that this is dead serious, that we are on the brink of an invasion.” Additionally, CBS News on Sunday reported: "The U.S. has intelligence that Russian commanders have received orders to proceed with an invasion of Ukraine."

While the Biden administration has repeatedly claimed to have intelligence that Russia is plotting various malign actions since tensions escalated over Ukraine in November, no evidence has been made public and none of the dire predictions have yet materialized.

Kyle Anzalone is the opinion editor of, news editor of the Libertarian Institute, and co-host of Conflicts of Interest.