What You Need To Know:
✓ Tensions in East Ukraine are increasing as both sides prepare for escalation: “I was as interested with the incoming artillery as I was with the outgoing. The Ukrainian artillery strikes were at least, if not more, than the separatist forces”
✓ The blockade is shortsighted and designed to make life as miserable as possible for people in the separatist republics
✓ “I think we are in pretty much relative peacetime. Except for a few hotspots”
✓ Luhansk region is seeing life return to normal slowly
“I knew that something was going to happen (at Marinka) there was a feeling of increased tension when I was there,” says Oliver Carroll, correspondent for the Independent. “Both sides are preparing for escalation, that is clear.”
Carroll was speaking on the situation in Eastern Ukraine, where there is increased tension with a lot of preparations being made on both sides of the separation line. Separatists are moving more and more military vehicles towards the front lines and at checkpoints the guards were very tense.
Tensions are high and Ukrainian Armed Forces have increased their artillery duels with separatist forces. “I was as interested with the incoming artillery as I was with the outgoing. The Ukrainian artillery strikes were at least, if not more, than the separatist forces,” reported Carroll.
“I think we are in pretty much relative peacetime. Except for a few hotspots.”
Most of the hotspots are close to Donetsk and Luhansk cities.
Luhansk region is seeing life return to normal slowly. As the fighting subsided and the separation lines stayed the same, people were able to get services working, shops to open and life return back to something resembling normalcy. However, the Ukrainian blockade being put in place is shortsighted in Carroll’s eyes.
“If we are trying to win over hearts and minds… whats the point in making a local population that could potentially be on your side turn away. It seems to me the only logic behind this draconian pass system. The point is to make lives on the other side as miserable as possible.”
Hromadske International's Nataliya Gumenyuk and Ian Bateson spoke with Oliver Carroll on June 28, 2015.