Ukraine warns of WW2 style battle
The scale of what he called the “battle for the Donbass” will make the world recall the Second World War, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba claimed on Thursday, calling on NATO to keep providing Kiev with “weapons, weapons and weapons.”
Speaking at a press conference in Brussels following a meeting with the US-led military bloc, Kuleba said that while fighting in the region has been ongoing, it has not yet reached “its maximum scale.”
“The battle for the Donbass will remind you, and I regret to say that but this is true, of the Second World War, with large operations, maneuvers, involvement of thousands of tanks, armored vehicles, planes, artillery. This will not be a local operation, based on what we see in Russia’s preparations for it. Russia has its plan, we have ours and the outcome of this battle will be decided on the battlefield,” Kuleba said.
The minister explained that he came to NATO headquarters with a simple agenda which had only three items on it: “weapons, weapons and weapons.” Kuleba argued that, as Euroatlantic security is “indivisible,” by fighting Russian forces Ukraine is defending not only itself but also bolstering the security of the bloc's members.
“A fair deal that Ukraine is proposing is simple. You provide us with everything that we need, and we will fight for our security but also for your security so that [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin will have no chance to test Article 5 of the North Atlantic treaty,” he said, referring to the provision about NATO collective defense in case of an assault from an adversary.
He emphasized that, in general, Kiev is content with the “overall dynamics” of how its relationship with its Western has evolved, while lamenting the “pretty high” price.
Kuleba’s remarks about a “Donbass battle” came a day after the Pentagon confirmed that Russian forces had cleared out of the Kiev region. Moscow declared plans to significantly pull back its forces from Kiev and Chernigov in late March, calling it a sign of “good faith,” as negotiations with Ukraine apparently moved an inch forward. At the same time, the Russian military made it clear that it had reached its objectives for the first stage of the Ukraine campaign and was preparing to focus efforts “on achieving the main goal – the liberation of the Donbass.”
Moscow attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements signed in 2014, and Russia’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French brokered Minsk Protocol was designed to regularize the status of the regions within the Ukrainian state.
Russia has now demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two regions by force.
The West responded to the Russian offensive in Ukraine by imposing tough wide-range sanctions on Moscow.