With Ukraine surrounded by Russian forces, Western governments warn that Moscow might use the 2 Russian-backed republics of Luhansk and Donetsk because the stage for a “false flag” assault on ethnic Russian civilians — after which cite it as justification after they storm throughout the border.
The worry is that the separatist territories might grow to be the setting for a disaster, whether or not staged or unintentional, that might result in far wider violence. A stray shell, for instance, would possibly hit a residential constructing, or there could possibly be a terrorist assault on fleeing refugees. Regardless of the scenario, Ukraine can be blamed, and Russia would have a pretext to invade.
Russia, regardless of repeated accusations from the West, says that it has no intention of invading, and that it merely desires its respectable geopolitical pursuits revered.
On Sunday night, the Ukrainian army issued a press release saying the Russian-backed separatists within the Luhansk area had opened hearth with heavy artillery on their very own capital metropolis “with the objective of blaming the Ukrainian army.”
“Within the absence of any aggressive motion from the Ukrainian defenders, the occupiers themselves are blowing up infrastructure within the occupied territories and firing chaotically on cities,” the statement stated. Russian information companies reported artillery strikes within the space. There have been no quick experiences of casualties.
Whereas attacking one’s personal facet accountable an enemy could appear significantly sinister, it might not be the primary time it has occurred over the eight-year historical past of the 2 enclaves.
Analysts have suspected quite a few violent occasions to be false-flag assaults. And insider violence by Russia’s safety companies or native proxies has been an integral facet of the republics’ historical past for years, in response to the Ukrainian intelligence companies and public statements by comrades of a few of these killed.