‘Ukrainian president is acting from position of weakness’

Neil Clark is a journalist, writer and broadcaster. His award winning blog can be found at www.neilclark66.blogspot.com. Follow him on Twitter

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko (AFP Photo / Sergey Supinsky)


Arms, Army, Clashes, Conflict, Human rights, Mass media, Military, Politics, Russia, USA, Ukraine, Violence

It is not the first time that the Kiev authorities have said they want a ceasefire while carrying on with their assault on the people in eastern Ukraine, so we need to be very wary, journalist Neil Clark told RT.

Ukrainian President
Petro Poroshenko announced a ceasefire plan for government troops
in the east of the country on
June 18.The decision came after a telephone
conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin that took
place a day earlier. However, the Kiev authorities have already
called for ceasefire a couple of times, demanding from the
Eastern Ukrainians that they lay down the arms unilaterally with
no guarantees that the military operation will be stopped.

RT: This isn’t the first time President
Poroshenko has promised to end the crackdown in the East. Do you
believe he is genuinely committed?

Neil Clark: It isn’t the first time, that’s why
we have got to be very wary about this because it is quite clear
that he is acting out of a position of weakness. Things have not
gone to plan for the Ukrainian authorities here. They launched
their offensive against the so-called terrorists in the East
several weeks ago, it hasn’t gone to plan. In fact he has hardly
been able to regain control of parts of the country. He hasn’t
been able to provoke Russia into intervening, and as we know the
people in the east are still there and they are fighting back and
even inflicted casualties on the Ukrainian forces. So I think now
Poroshenko has had to rethink, and the US who is behind it all
has also had to rethink. So we have got to be very wary. The
worst thing that will happen here would be for the people in the
east to lay down their arms and then there will be another
massive assault on them of the Ukrainian government using a kind
of phony pretext to carry out the offensive. So we have to be
very careful to wait to see the details.

RT: Reports suggest Ukraine could be about
to buy 1,000 armored vehicles. This doesn’t match up with pledges
to scale down the military operation, does it?

NC: Absolutely, and I fear that what we could
see here is Poroshenko playing for time. He might be calling for
a ceasefire to kind of lull people into a false sense of security
in the east and then, when his new military hardware arrives, to
relaunch this offensive. The offensive hasn’t gone well, it
hasn’t succeeded, there have been a lot of reverses for the
Ukrainian authorities. We could be very cynical, we have got to
wait to see the details. Of course every single person wants to
see an end to hostilities. We have over 300 people killed
according to the UN figures in the East, and many of they have
been civilians, even children have been killed. Obviously, we
want peace, however I don’t think we can trust Poroshenko and the
Ukrainian authorities. We’ll wait for the details to reserve

A view of a new Dozor-B Ukrainian army armoured personnel carrier at the training ground in Chuguyev, Kharkiv region, during a presentation of the vehicle on June 4, 2014. (AFP Photo / Sergey Bobok)

RT: What kind of plan is Kiev pursuing?

NC: Part of the strategy has been quite clear,
it has to be to provoke Russia into intervening. That has failed,
and what Russia could have done, it has already done. The
responsibility for this is on the Ukrainian government and behind
it of course is the US. While it’s welcome to hear this from
Poroshenko talking about the ceasefire, we have got to be very
careful. The devil is really in the details here, before we can
even talk about having some kind of negotiations and a peaceful
solution to this, because up to now we had this before, we had
the Kiev authorities saying they want a ceasefire, carrying on
with pounding, with assault on the people in the east. The
actions speak louder than the words really.

RT: The deaths of two Russian journalists in
Lugansk, along with the abductions of media workers, have shocked
many. There are also reports that Russian TV channels are being
blocked in several cities in Ukraine. Is there any freedom of
press left in the country?

NC: The situation in Ukraine is quite appalling
from the journalistic point of view. We have journalists simply
targeted for reporting the “wrong” kind of news or are
working for the “wrong” kind of channels. I have heard
about RT coming off the air, if that’s true. The Ukrainian
government has been very draconian and it is actually working
against the free press here. I have heard from someone commenting
on the situation here that it is worse than it was in the Iraq
war – even the Iraqi authorities were better toward the press
than the Ukrainian authorities are here. So it’s another black
mark against Ukraine.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Comments (9)

tommy27 19.06.2014 15:01

Paying US income taxes is like throwing money out of the window of a fast moving car on a windy day. Just think 5 billion just to stir up the Ukraine chaotic mess. That works out to 5 thousand millionaires. I wouldn’t trust Porochenko as far as I could throw the numbskull.

Chris Babeouf 19.06.2014 14:57

Petro Poroshenko may be acting from ‘weakness’ but that hasn’t stopped the new attacks by the Ukrainian military on civilians in the East today. Repeating the obvious Petro Poroshenko is going to bomb and shell the East of Ukraine into submission. And then after some ethnic cleansing of some or all of the surviving Russian speakers he intends to join Nato. I await with interest to see if the Russian government is cheated yet again. This is the obvious plan irrespective of worthless verbal or written guarantees the Russian government has been given in Washington/Paris/Ber lin.

Tany Queen 19.06.2014 14:34

18 May 2014 Update: CIA denies its agents were killed in eastern Ukraine
Of 14 CIA military operatives aboard two Mil Mi-17’s, only one survived, who was initially identified as an employee of the American mercenary company named Greystone Ltd. As to CIA directing war operations against pro-federalist forces in eastern Ukraine. representative from Slavyansk’s self-defense movement reporting from battle zone said, “When using radios, activists have heard English several times on the air…this is direct proof of participation of foreigners in the retaliatory operations against Slavyansk.”

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