Image by Gennadly Dubavoy
2 Ukrainian soldiers died in East Ukraine today from shelling from pro-Russian rebels, according to the Ukrainian government. The men died about 40 miles north of Donetsk, in the Donetsk People’s Republic or DPR. Four other soldiers were wounded as well as two civilians.
As negotiations between Russia and the Trump administration heat up on a variety of issues, it seems Moscow is making sure the West knows it can cause trouble in Ukraine if it wants, threatening kyiv’s economic growth and movement towards the European Union.
The deaths come on the heels of an announcement by rebel leaders of a new state called Malorossiya, or Little Russia, referring to the old Russian imperial name for the Ukraine territory.
“The situation in the anti-terrorist operation zone has seriously worsened,” the Ukrainian army said in a statement, reported AFP.
Moscow has been pressuring the United States government for return of diplomatic compounds seized by the Obama administration, as well as pushing for sanctions to be removed or lessoned on the Russian Federation and individuals inside Putin’s inner circle.
For its part, the Trump administration wants help with the fight against terrorism, a halt to the violence in Syria, and a less threatening posture from Russia. It is highly likely that these men died acting as pawns in the geopolitical chess game between Moscow, Kivi, Brussels, and Washington.