Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe

Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe

The ongoing Donbass conflict (Ukraine-Russia war) commenced in 2014 when the pro-West President took over power from the pro-Russia President. The crisis is because of the power struggle of Ukraine’s factions. The factions have aligned to different factions; one has aligned to Russia while the other have aligned to the European Union.  Ukraine had always been one of the biggest contributors to the Soviet Union Economy. The crisis between the factions became more intense when the special forces of Russia occupied the Crimean Peninsula in Ukraine (Jones & Sam. ). The special forces of Russia claimed that they were protecting their port access to the Black Sea. The sole reason for doing this was because Ukraine had entered into a deal with the USA to develop the natural gas reserves of Crimea with companies of the USA for two years. If this was accomplished then Russia was going to lose one of its biggest customers; therefore this is what has increased the conflict being observed in Donbass. OSCE came in to help stop this conflict which was consuming Ukraine but has not done its best to bring peace in the country because of a number of reasons. The paper provides a detailed explanation of why OSCE is not doing well in Donbass conflict (Ukraine-Russia war).

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe is not doing well in its attempts to terminate the Donbass conflict, Ukraine- Russia war because of the clandestine being developed by the conflicting fractions. However much the trials that OSCE makes to end the war in Ukraine, the fractions have always continued preparing to escalate the war. The conflicting parties have been secretly laying new landmines and building of new weapons to onslaught each other to make sure that they completely slay them. No fraction is willing to be declared a failure in this war.  On January 23rd, 2015 in KIEV one of the officials of OSCE claimed that there is a risk of escalation of the Eastern Ukraine armed conflict. The Deputy Chief Monitor of OSCE Alexander Hug who does special monitoring of Ukraine mission also confirmed that they had observed an indication that every side of the conflicting fractions is heavily preparing to progress the conflict which might lead to the escalation of the conflict. Hug also added that the monitors of OSCE had in several days witnessed the parties who are in conflict in Eastern Ukraine building very dangerous weapons to fight the opponents (Dembinski, M. and Spanger, H.J., 2017.). He also said that they were also digging new trenches to hide in during the war and lying of new landmines to ensure they overpower the enemies. One of the anonymous members of OSCE also said that both sides were willing to fight up to the very end; however what it will cost. Some even said that they were ready for any outcome even if it is death to make sure that they accomplish their mission. From the information, provided by the officials from OSCE, it is apparent to say that indeed OSCE is not doing very well to see the conflict in Eastern Ukraine end. They had good information from the monitoring team to help them tame the war between the pro-West government and pro-Russia backed separatists that is devastating Ukraine. This has even been confirmed by Hug when he said that in the previous more than 30 truce round attempts have failed. The reason for the failure he said originated from, the counter accusations from them as they have always kept on accusing each other of violations of the ceasefire.

The OSCE is not also performing to its level best in bringing back tranquility in Ukraine because the trilateral contact groups who were reinstated to help it maintain peace developed vested interests in the country. The two members of the trilateral contact group who claims to be helping OSCE to bring back peace in Ukraine between the two conflicting factions are Russia and Ukraine Army.  The news provided by the” News China Station” indicated that the war in Ukraine was going to be escalated due to the secrete withdrawal of the Ukraine armed forces from the war. The news also claimed that the armed forces of Ukraine were withdrawing their rocket launchers from Eastern Ukraine region. The withdrawal was said to be taking place because it was in accordance with the peace agreement of Minsk of March 2015 (Shelest, Hanna, Oleksii Izhak, Maksym Palamarchuk, and Oleksii Haran.). The Ukrainian army provided a substantial reinforcement to the OSCE in curbing the conflict in Eastern Ukraine and their withdrawal partly thwarted the efforts of OSCE which is the significant peacemaker in this war in Donbass.   Therefore, the withdrawal of the Ukrainian Army suggests one of the reasons as to why the attempts made by OSCE have not been so successful. Prisoners were also picked by the conflicting Ukrainian parties to help them fight the opponents then returned to prisons the following day. This showed how rigorous the war was as the conflicting sides could go to the extent of hiring prisoners to help them win the war.

On the other hand, the Russian Army who formed part of the trilateral contact group was also secretly making plans to support the pro-Russia team in fighting the war behind the scene.  In the “Foreign Policy Magazine” interview the head of the OSCE monitoring mission, Alexander Hug gave an overview of the frustrations and challenges of monitoring in the forgotten war of Europe. He said that through a camera he had observed the secret actions of Russia in the battle of Eastern Ukraine. He claimed that he had secretly observed Russia army smuggling in weapons to the Ukraine allies at night. He said that the weapons that had been handed to the pro-Russia team looked very powerful and those are what have been used by the team to sustain them in the Donbass conflict in Ukraine-Russia war (Malyarenko, Tatyana.). These weapons included electronic warfare equipment’s which are very lethal. The OSCE also reported that they had spotted long range SMM aerial vehicles (UAV) which they stated were moving unmanned.  They sported these Space Aerial Vehicles in a system surface-to-air- missile is shown to be (9K33Osa). They also spotted in the east of Nyzhnokrynske a fuel truck entering Ukraine. As the team monitored the space vehicle the UAV space vehicles, they experienced interference of the signals thus never saw the destination (Jacq, Emmanuel DM.).  OSCE identified the other instance of Russia contribution in the Ukraine war in August 2015. They posted footage of UAV convoy of trucks moving in and exiting Ukraine through Russia very late into the night. They entered through dirt track devoid of facilities of the border crossing.  The separatists later own were seen using ammunition and sophisticated military technologies, spare parts and never lacked fuel to facilitate their operations. The sophisticated weapons they used included T-90Amajor battle tanks which had not even once bought by the armed forces of Ukraine. NATO also confirmed the incidences of heavy weaponry used in the territory of Ukraine. With the sophisticated heavy weaponry, continuous flow of fuel, assistance in fighting and other activities that Russia provided to their Separatists shows some of the reasons why OSCE was not doing very well in curbing Donbass conflict. OSCE have tried their best in curbing the Donbass conflict in Ukraine, but due to the entry of assistance given by outside parties in fueling the war is overwhelming them. They have tried to monitor using all the means to make sure that the external body or the government does not provide support, but to their amazement they do. This has been so hectic and tiresome for them to stop as the parties carry out the actions at very odd times and using dubious means that have become challenging to thwart.

The OSCE has also not done their best toward the terminating the Donbass, Ukraine-Russia war because of the advances that were made by Kiev which have led into heightening of Ukraine’s war. The war in Ukraine rekindled after KIEV abandoned its disengagement policy. This has led to incursions into the no man’s land known as “Gray Zone” between the Separatists and the government (Jacq, Emmanuel DM.). The gray zone is one of the causes of conflict that the government signed a peace agreement with the two groups in 2014 but which failed afterward.  The Russian- backed side has begun incursions into the land claiming that the land is in Eastern Ukraine, this has remained a tinderbox. Only a few hundred yards in this land divides the separatists and the government troops hence exacerbating the war. Both sides of the Ukraine divide have blamed OSCE and other groups to let them alone and not to fear that the shrinking distance would contribute to violence renewal. Alexander on his side claimed that he was only afraid of the military positioning and weaponry buildup which might initiate a fierce war. The Russian President Putin also claimed the government of Ukraine of trying to enhance war in the country and not to blame him of his country’s conflicts.  The election of President Trump also led to an increase in the war in Ukraine. It is noted that during his inauguration rivalry heightened between the Russian-backed separatists and the government side. Because Russia had a notion that the USA would give full support to Ukraine’s government in ousting them off the lucrative resources, they were deriving from Ukraine. Definitely, the advances of the Ukraine government of disbanding the policy of disengagement and election of Trump heightened the conflict in Donbass hence overwhelming OSCE.

In conclusion, OSCE is not doing very well in the Donbass conflict, Ukraine-Russia war. This has been contributed to by a number of reasons that at times goes beyond the body’s control. These reasons include clandestine that have been developed by the warring sides such as the building of weapons, laying of landmines. The other, reasons for not doing very well in Ukraine’s war are Russian assistance of their allies with heavy weaponry, fuel among others, withdrawal of Ukraine’s army, the election of Trump and disbandment of disengagement policy by Ukraine. Therefore, there is a need for other governments to come in to help OSCE to stop the war and the external parties who fuel the war should also be subjugated to stop the heinous advancements.