A total of 110,000 Ukrainians who have left for Russia in an attempt to save their lives probably just want to visit their relatives and then travel back, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said at a briefing, thus calling into question the tremendous number of people reported to be now seeking asylum in Russia. The United States generally doubts the UN figures on Ukraine refugees, endorsing Petr Poroshenko's decision to resume the punitive operation in Ukraine's southeast. Meanwhile, the so-called ceasefire is something that never happened, stresses VR's expert Francis Boyle, a professor at the University of Illinois College of Law.
"There was not much about a ceasefire to talk about, Poroshenko's hostilities continued, there was firing across the border with Russia."
The declared ceasefire served as an opportunity, a pretext taken up by Poroshenko to step up the sweeping military campaign and "bring up major military forces that we're now seeing unleashed on the Russian speakers in Donbass."
Mr. Boyle comprehends these outrageous acts as war crimes, openly calling these crimes against humanity "verging on genocide." The order clearly arrived from the US, as despite the preceding four-way talks between the European foreign chiefs and the agreement President Putin clinched with his European counterparts, Poroshenko still chose to persist on with his military campaign.
'We could see the whole thing quite quickly collapsing into outright genocide against cities and people there.'
"It's clear that he's been ordered to do this by the United States government just before ending of the so-called ceasefire. President Putin spoke with France's Hollande and Merkel of Germany and thought he'd reached an agreement to deescalate the conflict, but apparently the Americans ordered Poroshenko to go forward with his offensive."
Poroshenko seems to have been pushed into turning a deaf ear to anything that Russia's Lavrov has previously worked out with his EU colleagues, and it's clearly not the decision that Poroshenko took himself. A most biased approach is all there, the expert concludes, adding the coming days may see "total hell breaking loose" in the region.
francis a. boyle