On the night of December 19, Russia blatantly violated the Ukrainian sovereignty for yet another time. Yet another “humanitarian convoy,” this one being already 96th, illegally crossed the border of the occupied Ukrainian territory in the Donbas region. In 2019, this convoy is already the 12th; between December 2018 and July 25, 2019 the Russian Federation sent no convoys of this kind, but the sending resumed on July 25 when Russia sent its convoy number 85. This past November, we reported how the invasion of the Russian convoys intensified. We have published facts showing how the Russian troops work under the guise of “humanitarian convoys,” and we have pointed at the passivity of the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).
The intrusion of the 96th convoy was reported by the National Border Control Service of Ukraine. Yet, the information about this last crime of Russia is absent from the Web site and social network pages of the MFA to the date of writing this article.
The InformNapalm international volunteers’ community has been observing a strange pattern: the MFA seems to be reacting only to the “rounded numbers,” as there was a public reaction to the convoys 90 and 95, but not about the rest. So, it looks like the MFA is trying not to speak about Russia violating the state border of Ukraine frequently and loudly. Also, they do not point at the trend to substantially activate the process of sending the hybrid convoys. It cannot be excluded that this is not a result of some covert instructions from the President of Ukraine or his inner circle.
Also, it begs a question: is it enough to write notes of protest, or is it necessary to articulate the notion of hybrid Russian aggression more actively, making it a matter of international concern? Officially, only the Special Monitoring Mission of the OSCE has the prerogative to monitor the situation on the occupied territories of Ukraine. However, this mission includes a large number of representatives of the aggressor country, and, also, representatives of some other countries that traditionally vote against resolutions on Crimea and latently support the occupation of Crimea by Russia.
For the information of the monitoring mission to be less biased and more impartial, it should remove representatives of Russia from its ranks, and limit the number of representatives of other countries that are loyal to the Russian Federation. We proclaim and underscore that not a single representative of Ukraine is included into the OSCE mission. Meanwhile, Russia is a side of the conflict, as ruled by the International Court in the Hague, which has decided to preside in the hearings related to Ukraine’s lawsuit against Russia. Therefore, there should be no observers from Russia in the mission, as they were caught many times s being loyal to the terrorists from the “People’s Republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk.
The InformNapalm international volunteers’ community openly, for one more time, asks the MFA to be more active, to emphasize at the international level that Russia continues to invade Ukraine using hybrid war tactics like these “humanitarian convoys,” and to apply for exclusion of the representatives of Russia from the Special Monitoring Mission of the OSCE.
This is not merely our volunteers’ vision; it is also the opinion of professional diplomats who are Ukrainian patriots. For example, on December 14, the former deputy head of the MFA, Olena Zerkal, actually confirmed the idea about the importance of working on these issues in her interview with Yanina Sokolova at the Rendez-Vous TV talk show.
“The OSCE mission includes representatives of different countries, including Russians, and the mandate of the mission as well as its personnel remain open questions, which are being discussed even within the OSCE itself. Indeed, Ukraine needs to watch attentively and see who will be represented in the OSCE. The number of Russians must be reduced, and we should work with our partners to make sure that there are more representatives of the countries that we trust,” – said Olena Zerkal.
In spite of all the concessions made by the current Ukrainian leadership to the peril of the Ukrainian state interests, the number of fatalities does not go down. By December 2019, eight more defenders of Ukraine were killed.
This situation makes the active stratum of the Ukrainian society anxious. Not only volunteers are now worried, but also professional diplomats who have active patriotic convictions.