Escalation in Donbas: the only thing Russians can speculate on today
Serhii Taruta, People's Deputy of Ukraine, Head of Donetsk Regional State Administration (2014)
The head of the parliament’s largest faction justifies the facts: one of their people's deputies is partying hard during the lockdown, and the other is discussing geopolitics and Donbas situation in Minsk, without having any authority to do so. According to the news feed, “servants of the people” live in a parallel reality with Ukrainian people.
In my native Mariupol the agenda is different: escalation on the border with the aggressor. Only within the last week, there have been 60 violations of the “silence regime’ on the front line, three deaths, and five Ukrainian defenders injured. I meet with “security officers” of the region. This is where they are discussing not Tyshchenko's wife's birthday, but hybrid actions aimed to destabilize the local situation. For example, in Talakivka (half an hour's drive from Mariupol), some people approach public transport stops and introduce themselves as journalists to ask provocative and frankly manipulative questions, such as, “Don't you plan to go to Russian Federation, where it's safer?” It is an obvious attempt to create panic attitude among local people, who know firsthand what Russian aggression is like.
Escalation in Donbas is the only thing that Russians can speculate on today. Thus, one doesn't have to be a great strategist to predict the consequences of our sanctions. In terms of a hybrid response, sanctions are the right move. Ukraine has the right to fight the content which splits society. However, when introducing the sanctions, it was necessary to bring a point, as widely as possible, to the whole world community: how Russia will act. It was necessary to focus on further shelling intensifications, building their military forces up, killing our defenders. And then, believe me, the Russian Federation would think carefully about whether to do so, confirming the statements of Ukraine.
Our experience of Mariupol defense, which we managed to retain in 2014, confirmed: people fight not only with weapons but also with brains. It is a pity that despite the escalation in the East of the country, today there are still parliamentarians in Verkhovna Rada whose brains are busy with anything but state security.