Yesterday’s live coverage of the Ukraine conflict can be found here.
For links to individual updates click on the timestamps.
For the latest summary of evidence surrounding the shooting down of flight MH17 see our separate article: How We Know Russia Shot Down MH17.
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The Facebook page for the Ukrainian Military Anti-Terror Operation (ATO) reports that as of 18:00 local time today the Russian-backed fighters have violated the ceasefire 19 times. A separate report says that there have been 415 ceasefire violations since February 20, making this week one of, if not the, most violent weeks in Ukraine since August.
Today’s battle map, posted by the website for the ATO:
Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak told reporters today that there would be yet another wave of mobilization to increase the ranks of Ukraine’s military. Unian.info reports:
“A total of 45,000 personnel are being dismissed now. Even if mobilization is announced, this figure will stand at 10,000-12,000, less than it was before,” Poltorak said.
The minister stressed that the number of contract soldiers increased significantly after the improvement in material support for the army.
“Previously 200-300 people joined the contract military service monthly, this month alone 9,000 people have been enrolled following the first increase in monetary remuneration. We already have 7,000 of conscripts,” the minister noted.
Poltorak also said that the next wave of mobilization would depend on the situation along the front line.
Poltorak’s comments seem to suggest that the next wave of mobilization could be smaller than expected if the violence decreases, but there does not seem to be a lot of optimism that this will happen.
This has former US ambassador to Ukraine John Herbst and The Atlantic Council’s Alina Polyakova asking this question:
In opinion: How many more years will Putin occupy Ukraine?
This article first appeared on the Atlantic Council site. Two years ago today, February 27, Russia invaded Ukraine. On the heels of the Euromaidan Revolution and the vicious sniper attacks that killed 103 Ukrainians, Russian President Vladimir Putin saw an opportunity and ordered the military takeover of Crimea.
Their article concludes:
The West still needs to do more to counter the Russian narrative. Western leaders have shied away from calling the Kremlin’s annexation of Crimea and war in the Donbas what it is: an invasion and occupation of a sovereign nation. While intervention or action may sound more diplomatic, they are nothing more than euphemisms that misrepresent the reality on the ground.
Putin himself has publicly admitted and even boasted about the efficiency of Russia’s military takeover of Crimea—outlining, in methodical detail, the invasion. He has also admitted that Russian soldiers are in the Donbas.
It is time that European and US policy makers and Western media take Putin at his word and call a spade a spade. Euphemisms only play into the Kremlin’s version of events, undermine the international community’s unity against Moscow’s aggression, and make it harder to formulate a coherent Western policy against the Kremlin’s revisionist ambitions.
— James Miller