14.05.2015. Expert commentary “It is much more profitable for Russia to intimidate Ukraine than to lead active military operations in Donbass “, Razumkov Centre

US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey R. Pyatt hopes that a new round of armed confrontation in Donbas will not happen. Although, he notes, that there are some signs of recovery of military confrontation: “We know that Russia conducts intensive training of the so-called Army of New Russia. Furthermore, it has also collected its missiles “ground-air” very close to the boundary line on Ukrainian territory “- the news agency UNIAN.

Co-director, Foreign Relations and International Security Programmes of Razumkov Center, Oleksiy Melnyk, said that such statements are based on the intelligence data that indicate increased activity of separatists in eastern Ukraine. And it really can be seen as preparation for the offensive. An intensive training of militants is taking place, to strengthen their military capabilities, ammunition as well as concentration of troops on the border with Ukraine is happening. “These are the classic features that can be seen in any preparation for war,” – said the expert.

According to Mr. Melnyk, the likelihood of large -scale confrontation exists, but it is low. “It is clear that most fighters are interested in continuing the fighting. The attempts to settle the conflict will deprive the militants of all the privileges they now possess. That is, they will lose power in the territories under their control, financial resources, the possibility of earning on smuggling schemes “, – said Mr. Melnyk.

However, he said, it should be clear that the leaders of the militants are not independent figures, and any of their decisions often come from the Kremlin. “In the end, if some provocations will happen, they will be created by the militants. As for the large-scale attack, it is possible only if a decision to start it will be taken in Moscow “, – the expert believes.

“In terms of the laws of logic, it is more profitable for Moscow to intimidate than to fight,” – he said.

However, according to Mr. Melnyk, Kyiv should understand that many decisions that came from Moscow in the last year, are very questionable if one thinks about logic. Given the fact that the decisions, to put it mildly, were not in favour of Russia itself and did not meet its national interests, it is difficult to predict with certainty the course of further developments.

“It is logical that Moscow should not be interested in war, in the active phase of the war. But experience suggests that such calculations might not be confirmed “, – the expert added.

Source (in Ukrainian)