Ukrainian media review on March 7 – March 9, 2015

March 10, 2015.

International observers and the conflict parties in Donbas notice implementation of Minsk agreements on heavy weapons withdrawal from the contact line. Number of military analysts considered the actions of the parties as a preparation for the long-term freezing of the situation in its current state. So-called “DPR-LPR” representatives initiated negotiations on the next, political stage of the settlement, stipulated in Minsk Agreement, which includes conducting local elections. However, based on the intensity of mobilization training, conducted in this area, the likelihood of a large-scale offensive campaign by so-called “DPR-LPR” remains high. Ukrainian authorities accuse Russian-backed militants of regrouping rather than withdrawing. Attention is currently drawn to the process of forces configuration changing in the so-called “DPR-LPR” territories. In particular we are talking about transformation of the separatist forces into a kind of regular army under the supervision of the Russian army officers, and the displacement of irregular foreign armed groups. Also, military experts have warned about possible escalation of number of operations aimed to destabilize the situation in the eastern and south-eastern regions of Ukraine, after freezing the conflict in Donbas. Meanwhile, special monitoring mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe are still unable to monitor any heavy artillery withdrawal in the separatist-controlled areas near the Ukrainian-held Azov Sea port city of Mariupol.