Ukraine is ‘ready for total war’ with Russia says Petro Poroshenko

Petro Poroshenko, putinUkrainian president Petro Poroshenko claimed his country was “prepared for total war” as fighting continued around the pro-Russian rebel stronghold of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine.

Fresh volleys of artillery fire were heard across many parts of Donetsk yesterday (local time), fuelling fears of a military build-up amongst rebel forces.

The latest clashes come amid a nominal ceasefire that has halted fighting along much of the frontline but not stopped regular artillery bombardments at strategic hotspots.

Government forces and rebels have accused each other of violating the terms of the truce, raising fears it could collapse entirely.

A government statement issued in the name of Donetsk city administration said the situation in the city was tense.

“According to residents, powerful volleys and explosions of heavy weapons can be heard in many districts,” it said.

Before the latest reports of shelling, a Ukrainian military spokesman said the weekend had been calmer than in previous days, but warned again of a build-up in separatist forces.

“Compared with previous days, the number and intensity [of shelling] fell, but there are signs of rebels and Russian forces preparing for an offensive,” Andriy Lysenko said in a briefing in Kiev.

The UN said it feared “a return to total war” in the area.

After a week in which Kiev said several unmarked armoured convoys of troops crossed the Russian border to reinforce rebels in the east, Mr Poroshenko toughened his rhetoric, telling the German daily Bild: “I am not afraid of a war with Russian troops.”

“We are prepared for a scenario of total war … We don’t want war, we want peace and we are fighting for European values. But Russia does not respect any agreement,” he said in an interview to be published today.

Mr Poroshenko said Kiev was now better prepared to face a rumoured rebel offensive.

“More than anything we want peace, but we must at the moment face up to the worst-case scenario,” he told the paper.

“Our army is now in a better state than it was five months ago and we are being supported by the entire world.”

Crisis has a good chance of resolution: Putin

Ukraine’s pro-Western leaders and NATO have accused Russia of sending soldiers and weapons to help pro-Russian rebels launch a possible new offensive, a charge the Kremlin has repeatedly denied.

US president Barack Obama said that Russia would remain isolated by the international community if Russian president Vladimir Putin failed to end Russian backing for separatists.

Mr Putin came under intense diplomatic pressure at the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Australia over the situation in the Ukraine.

But the Russian president said there was a “good chance of resolution” in Ukraine, rejecting Western condemnation of his country’s role in the conflict.

“Today the situation [in Ukraine], in my view, has good chances for resolution, no matter how strange it may sound, but certain structures had been established on both sides that could handle the tasks they are facing better,” Mr Putin told a select meeting of reporters on the side of the summit in Brisbane.

Mr Putin added that Kiev’s decision to impose an economic blockade of eastern Ukraine was a “big mistake”, but “not fatal”.

On a visit to Bratislava, Mr Poroshenko told reporters the conflict would “end within two weeks” if the peace plan signed in Minsk in September was implemented.

Andrei Purgin, deputy prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, told Reuters rebels had reached an agreement with Ukrainian forces to stop shelling around Donetsk airport following a meeting that included representatives of Russia and security watchdog OSCE.

Ukrainian military spokesman Mr Lysenko said he did not have information on the agreement referred to by Mr Purgin.

Seven months of fighting in eastern Ukraine has claimed the lives of more than 4,100 people, according to UN figures.

In separatist Luhansk region, three members of Ukraine’s special police force were killed as a result of a rebel attempt to break into Ukrainian-controlled territory, the Interior Ministry said in an online statement.

The press service for the military operation said another soldier had been killed elsewhere in the region.

AFP/Reuters

  • nagy_michael2

    Looks like Putin is bored and he is squeezed by the west and he feels the need to show his macho image. well he and the Persian Empire will bring the end to the world for sure..

  • zabada

    war is a bad solution.

    • 5thDrawer

      It was Bashar’s solution. I could agree with you on that.
      But who started the ‘separation&division’ bit in Ukraine? Oh, not Putin. Ask a local ….
      ‘Dah .. I speak Russian, I got Russian-looking battle-dress, I got Russian guns big or small, and Russian anti-passenger-plane-missiles, and I hate Ukrainians … but do you see ‘Russian Army Label’ on anything?? NO, of course not … SO, I’m not Russian army … I just LOVE Mother Russia and fight for ‘Freedom’. Putin has nothing to do with this either. He told me to say that. Pravda.’

  • Sony

    All the noise, big words and grandstanding the US, UK and Australia has made about poor Ukraine… how much money have they actually given them? NOTHING!

    No one wants the Ukraine – it was simply used to cause trouble for Russia – because they have been helping countries break loose from US / UK control. China, India and the rest of Asia & Latin America will be playing a whole new game that they wont control. Go Russia!

    • MekensehParty

      What you don’t understand is that if you bully a peaceful president of a nation stronger than yours, the next elected president is going to be a bully. Go Jeb Bush?

      • Sony

        Jeb Bush… LOL yeah it’s possible in a stupid Hollywood movie so I guess it could happen in the US. That or the freaky Hilary Clinton who reminds me of that uptight neurotic real-estate sales woman in the movie “American Beauty”. Just that Hilary’s a lot more psychopathic and haggard…

        On the thought of Movies… Maybe Jeb Bush is the character played by Ned Beatty in the movie “Deliverance”. I’m wondering if the good o’l boys funding him and pulling the strings to get their way will be also asking him to “squeal like a pig”…? I mean Jeb has definately had his baggy pants around his ankles a few times!

        • MekensehParty

          you think your buddy putin would have dared messing with GW? Lol
          Or would he dare bullying Jeb if he’s elected? Hollywoodian comical!
          He sees a gentleman, a rational man who wants a place for everyone on this earth, who doesn’t like armies and wars and what is Putin’s reaction let’s bully the black guy. And I’m sure he’s using a different word to talk about Obama.
          Anyway, what I said before stands. When you bully the nice guy, a strong Texan will come and teach you lessons in bullying. Don’t go blame anyone but yourselves.

          • Sony

            I’m not a buddy of Vladimir Putin – I’ve never met him. I wouldn’t mind having a beer with him and seeing what he is like.

            As for what he would call Barack Hussein Obama II… I guess he may call him “Barack”

            As to the fact that Mr Obama has black skin… that would be immaterial as Russians don’t have racism and that’s why they get on fine with everyone in Africa, India, Latin America and Asia. In fact they actually don’t like ultra-right white supremacists and fascists etc…

            As for the strong Texan… I am sure there are many strong Texans – I mean that state has a larger population than the country of Australia so there would have to be some good people there… Jeb Bush isn’t one of them though… He is plain dumb – and I’m trying to be kind here.

            Jeb is an intellectual handicap he is weak minded and he is just going to be another lame puppet for the same boys behind the other Bush members…

            America needs a real President someone who looks after the interests of American people. Not Multinationals…who don’t pay taxes and move operations off shore. Why start wars with tax payer dollars and Americas sons so that Multinationals make more money…

          • MekensehParty

            So you should be with Obama then if this is what you wish for America, because this is who he’s working for, the people. And yet, in an amazing contradictory statement you prefer to go have a beer with a bully like Putin who’s threatening to start a nuclear war.
            Care to explain?

          • Sony

            I (like many) fell in love with the idea of Obama. Looking back, the images of him all looked sacred. The photographs of him with the round circle of the US Presidential Seal behind him looked like a halo… Even his 2008 campaign logo was a halo integrating a great American highway heading into the future… a shape of hills with a friendly arched sun smiling over it. Obama was beautifully branded with promise. Was Obama the savior? No.

            I am not sure whether to blame Barack Obama or the US political system. Was Mr Obama another highly paid well marketed actor? Perhaps he was – I’d like to think that he wasn’t. I’d like to think that the only reason he never created peace, he never created equality, he never cleaned up politics or the banking system was the fact that the overwhelming corruption around him simply made it impossible to achieve. I would honestly like to believe that – but today it does not matter. Mr Obama’s presence accounted for naught.

            America is headed on a path that none of us will see recovery within our life time. I’m not just talking about the average wealth of American people. I’m also talking about the growing surveillance and loss of freedoms. Too much power has been accumulated by companies that are monopolies – empires in their own right. We where all told that Wallmart is necessary to build jobs for Americans and to enrich American shareholders… The truth is Wallmart destroyed ten fold more jobs than it ever created. Those jobs it does offer are low wage jobs. Over 60,000 private American retailers closed down as Wallmart stores expanded across the country. Its wealth is in the hands of private trusts. In 2013 83% of all Wallmart revenues was expatriated overseas to other parts of the supply chain and the complex web of corporate entities pay next to no taxes in America. Back in 2001 the World Trade Organization reported a direct loss of 56,000 manufacturing facilities in America being closed as Wallmart procurement offices opened overseas…How many would have been lost over the past unlucky 13 years? I would hate to think…

            I’m not saying Wallmart is alone in destroying Americas middle class (and hence financial strength) I’m saying the top 250 multinationals are not as American as you would wish. They now run what is left of Americas political power through their lobby groups and self interest groups that speak louder than you and I.
            The former Exxon Mobile CEO (Lee Raymond) infamously said, “I’m not a U.S. company, and I don’t make decisions based on what’s good for the U.S.”… That pretty much sums it up.

            Americans have to realize that national pride in companies like Apple are misplaced when the bulk of earnings are retained in $100 billion + bank accounts and placed in the international markets. Very little of the capital sucked out of the US consumers goes back to the American economy – its a one way trip. That money is going where the company can best prosper and if that means removing the American flag all together and flying a new HQ and new stock market – so be it… What and who is going to stop them?

            Now to Jeb… He is more of the same. Deals for cash. Jeb Bush isn’t going to rock the boat because Jeb wants to stay in it. The only guy that remotely looked clean is Ron Paul but that opportunity is gone. Maybe one of the independents is worth your vote… Democrat / Republican it’s the same. You have to have more options. Less monopolies…

            As for Putin, he is doing what most Russians want – he has high approval rating. Let’s face it Russia was a basket case after the Soviet collapse but somehow by almost a miracle they repaid all of the debt – created a $500 billion wealth fund, created the worlds 8th largest economy with a solid trade surplus, increased the standard of living among all Russians and has built a vision (right or wrong) of the BRICS, Eurasian Union, and a key role in China’s 21st Century Silk Roads Belt providing Energy and Freight rail networks across Asia to Europe… It is a 2.2 trillion dollar vision that they may (or may not) pull off…. but it is a vision.

            I personally believe US & EU foreign policy do not want to see Russia, China and India have a clear run at forming their own trade blocks and I do believe the Ukraine is a useful thorn in Russia’s side to slow the process down. But I also think that Russia will shrug this off and that the cost burden will land in the lap of the EU… I think this adventure has backfired and I would like to see America try and distance itself from the fallout now… The US needs to focus on domestic challenges for regular Americans first and foremost. We need to see a vision to believe in but more importantly a new dream that actually comes true.

            Meanwhile, Russia isn’t the bogey man they do not want to invade America – China isn’t evil either. I’m quite sure Iranians just want a nice life and Brazilians just wants to enjoy good food, sunshine and football (soccer). Forget the wars – and forget the idea that to make our situation look better to our population we have to point at a worse alternative. Selling fear to our own population is short term tactic and strategically stupid.

            To make things better will need a lot of hard work and I am sure Americans are not afraid of hard work – so long as they get to share in the rewards afterwards right? Start by taking the money & media out of politics and make it an equal and fair race for more parties (more ideas) to compete…

          • MekensehParty

            You’re an idealist Sony, sorry to say that what you wrote is not only flawed but also unrealistic. The world doesn’t turn that fast. Change takes a lot of time. I don’t want to be presumptuous but you sound pretty young.
            No one said Obama was the savior and if you believed that in 2008 then indeed you’re a young dreamer.
            What I’m saying is that he introduced an updated diplomatic style and fresh economic ideas. In time, the US and the world will remember how beneficial his actions were.
            The conversation about corporations and their present role in our world is long and very complex. Just let me say that without these big corporations the world would be turning even slower, and would certainly be MUCH more expensive. Not all corporations are the big evil. As consumers, we owe them a lot lot.
            I talked about Jeb who should be thanking people like Putin because they will get him elected. Americans don’t like to be bullied and their reaction will be to elect a bully who will put back the foreign bully in its place. In case of Russia and Putin, they will suffer much more under a Bush administration and will regret the day they bullied a nice guy like Obama.
            The West wants responsible partners in the world of today. Contrary to urban legends they want a strong China, India, Russia, Brazil… Strong with human values because at that point their military force wont be a threat to Human freedom. We want to work with Russia on all levels and bring the Russians, Chinese, Indians, Brazilians and all others to live as happy as we live in the US.
            But when Russia invades and annexes a piece of territory belonging to another independent country this is a step in the wrong direction and cannot be accepted. When Iran threatens to nuke another country it has to be slapped with sanctions first and really slapped if it moves forward in its doomsday plan. Nobody is selling fear but those who create it in the first place and it seems you are confused on this point. Putin is creating and trying to spread fear (and mostly among Russians for political reasons) and the West has been trying to deescalate in the nicest ways. Iranian leadership and military threaten to annihilate Israel while the West is trying to find a fair solution to their nuclear program. Anyway, Putin’s adventure has backfired on him and Russia altogether and there are facts that prove what an imbecile he turned to be and how Russia lost most of the friends that matter.
            As for Iran, its leaders quest for nuclear weapons has not been achieved and at the same time the Iranians value of life is spiraling downward.
            BRIC, the silk road… all of these are dreams, and it’s not me who’s saying that but experts from those nations. They can only work when each of these countries go through fundamental reforms… following the Western model. At that point let’s call it more than BRIC, it will be JABRICE with Japan, America and Europe in such a great deal… If all the present BRIC countries are going to continue on the path of corruption and intimidation they’ll never achieve anything.
            Final note, the Russian economy that you seem so impressed with is by all experts’ account one of the worse economy model in the world The great nation of Russia is counting on the oil sector only to keep its economy running.
            At present oil prices the Russian economy terribly hurting right now will go bankrupt in less than 5 years.
            Also speaking of monopolies why don’t you ask your beer buddy Putin why all private oil companies have been “nationalized” and their owners sent to jail 😉

  • TheUSequalsTheIS

    yet another war the US is pushing for