The autumn session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) opened in Strasbourg on October 10. This session held no bright promise for the Russian Federation, even though the Assembly President Pedro Agramunt in his opening address advocated the return of the Russian delegation to the plenary hall. In this publication, InformNapalm international intelligence community draws connections between the international situation and the escalation of Russia’s aggression on the eastern boundaries of the EU.
From the first day of the PACE autumn session, not only Russian diplomats and intelligence agencies were working overtime to reach the goals set to them by the Kremlin. Russian media, in concert with their puppets in Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) terrorist forces, stepped up their media offensive claiming “shelling of civilians by the Ukrainian Army” and “civilian casualties”. The old line about “the internal Ukrainian conflict” was hyped up with renewed vigor.
Eduard Basurin, the so-called “deputy commander of the operational command of the DPR” erupted with a series of “urgent reports“ for the media. The rhetoric was pretty standard: houses of civilians destroyed by shelling, elderly women with abdomen wounds. Ironically, all of the babushkas in these reports had the same patronymic. It seems the copywriters using the Kremlin manual while writing the “news” do not even bother to change sample names cited in the examples.
Then “the attacks on Sakhanka” and again “the civil war” were all over Russian media.
Even Russian paratrooper veterans had their say. On October 11, a notorious Russian Airborne Forces veteran, a former head of the presidential security of the unrecognized Moldovan Republic of Transnistria, chairman of the “Regional Office of the International Union of Russian Paratroopers” Valery Gratov wrote:
“<…> Who will be held responsible for Sakhanka? I made inquiries at the 8th Information Security Center of FSB of Russia about the shelling of Sakhanka. I passed on to the leadership a strict stance of the paratrooper veterans and the willingness of many of the old soldiers to go to protect civilians. But it was firmly made clear to me that the problem is being tackled in the international arena, and because of the problems in Syria, it is not yet possible to provide us any support. What should ordinary people of Donbass do then? Wait until Russia finds a favorable timing for the new advance, as it was at Ilovaisk and Debaltseve? Or take control of their own destiny?! Several tank attacks will drive back the Kiev junta and solve the issue. We have enough tanks on the approaches! It’s time to sound the alarm, shove out OSCE and act! If the choice is between Syria and Donbas, then I choose Donbas, not wasting time on the geopolitical ambitions <…>”
On October 12, it became clear that Russia was failing miserably in the international parliamentary scene. No provocations and media hype about “the internal Ukrainian conflict” were of any help.
Two momentous reports were presented at the PACE session and two momentous resolutions were adopted. These were the reports on Donbas by the German politician Marie-Louise Beck and the Czech MP Christine Zelenkova.
According to the October 12th statement of Irina Gerashchenko, the First Vice-Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament:
“In the report, “The political consequences of the Russian aggression in Ukraine” (NOTE! the name of the report was changed and the conflict in Donbas was recognized as the Russian aggression!) and in the report on “Legal remedies for human rights violations in the occupied Ukrainian territory outside the control of the Ukrainian authorities” there are these key points: This is a war of Russia against Ukraine; Russian troops must be withdrawn from Ukraine; elections in Donbas in the current environment are not possible! Because it is too dangerous there! Elections are not possible under the ETЅ 9 protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights. Russia is solely responsible for the occupied territories, because it controls the situation there! Donbas and the Crimea were the scenes of military invasions! And so-called LPR and DPR were created and are supported by the Russian Federation and are not legitimate.”
The failure of Russia in the international arena has traditionally resulted in a military revenge and an escalation at the front.
By the evening of October 12, Russian occupation forces shelled Vodiane near Mariupol using 152mm self-propelled artillery. A fire occurred as a result of the shelling. Several houses were seriously damaged.
Fighting and shelling erupted in the area of Shyrokyne. For a detailed and accurate map of shelling for October 12 visit Infolight.org.ua. The Information Resistance group offered a detailed analysis of the escalation.
“During the day, Russian occupation forces on the stretch from Pavlopil to Shyrokyne have actively shelled the forward lines of Ukrainian troops, as well as a number of sites and settlements in their tactical rear, using a variety of fire systems, including 122-mm conventional and rocket artillery. In addition, the invaders also intensively applied mortar fire in this area with 82-mm and 120-mm mortars…
A series of artillery attacks was apparently of provocative nature and had several goals. The selection of targets for the massed fire of the militants is notable…
These were mainly strongholds of Ukrainian troops and villages on both sides of the two (out of three) main transport arteries in the area – the route E58 (Novoazovsk – Odessa) and the road from Mariupol to Telmanove, as well as areas of temporary or permanent posts of OSCE observers (spots with a high probability of their presence in this area)…
The use by the militants in the area of the following weapons systems was recorded: 2S1 Gvozdika 122-mm self-propelled howitzers, BM-21 Grad 122-mm multiple launch rocket systems, 2A18 type D-30 / 30 A towed 122-mm howitzers, 2B14 Podnos 82-mm mortars and 2B9 Vasilek automatic mortars, 2S12 Sani 120-mm mortars, etc.”
The escalation of hostilities was quite predictable, it is obvious that Russia was preparing for it. The allotment of a significant amount of heavy weaponry and equipment of the Russian occupation forces to reinforce illegal armed groups in Donbas was recorded during the recent month. Volunteer aerial reconnaissance units were increasingly spotting whole artillery battalions of the enemy and providing hard evidence of heavy weapons withdrawal violations under the Minsk agreements.
In late September, volunteer air reconnaissance recorded the presence of at least eight units of 2S1 Gvozdika 122mm self-propelled howitzers in Novoazovsk, in close proximity to the area of escalating hostilities (which include constant attacks on the Ukrainian territory with 122 mm guns).
We can reasonably expect escalation in other areas, since only during the last 2 weeks InformNapalm community volunteers identified on aerial photographs five large caches of arms of Russian occupation troops in Donbas:
1) A large cluster of tanks and self-propelled howitzers was recorded in Donetsk, 15 km from the contact line;
2) The tanks were recorded in the village of Rozdolne, 10 km from the contact line;
3) 2S1 Gvozdika 122mm self-propelled howitzers were spotted in Novoazovsk, 17 km from the contact line;
4) An entire artillery battalion was spotted in an open area in the village of Vrubovsky;
5) Tanks were recorded in Horlivka, 14 km from the contact line;
No Minsk agreements or international negotiations will appease the aggressor, only firm consolidated position of the entire international community, economic pressure on Russia and revocation of its veto right in the Security Council can make a difference.
The report of the InformNapalm international intelligence community titled Weaponry of the Russian Federation in the war against Ukraine presented by the Ukrainian delegation at the autumn PACE session paints a clear picture. It also provides a list of evidence proving that the Russian Federation has systematically supplied and continues to supply the anti-government forces in Donbas with modern military equipment, as well as with personnel to operate it.
In this regard, Ukraine needs not only economic but also military assistance from the international community. Provision of lethal and non-lethal types of modern weapons for the Armed Forces and the National Guard of Ukraine could serve as a significant deterrent to the Kremlin’s ambitions for the creeping occupation of the Ukrainian territory and further destabilization of the situation on the eastern boundaries of the EU and NATO.
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