Director of the National Institute for Strategic Studies, Volodymyr Horbulin, told Ukrainian ZN.UA news portal that the Donbas is at risk of a sudden outbreak of large-scale hostilities. As Advisor to the President, he maintains that the current popular perception of calm presents a significant danger in itself.
“In fact, the only thing we have observed is a paradigm shift in this long-term conflict,” Horbulin said. “Moreover, this raises a worrying feeling that this is the calm before the storm, especially taking into account Russia’s continued activity in the territory of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics as well as the Crimea, which is often overlooked. The prospect of large-scale, armed clashes becomes more evident.”
Earlier, the Armed Forces of Ukraine released a statement about the start of shelling near Donetsk. A total of 58 separate occasions of artillery shelling—34 from Donetsk, 17 from Mariupol and 7 from Luhansk—were recorded. Marinka, Avdiivka, Dokuchaievsk and Horlivka remain the epicenters of the fighting in eastern Ukraine.