Kurt Volker: Russia exacerbates fighting in Donbas to change political course of Ukraine


United States Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker believes that the military clashes in Donbas in 2017 have been the most violent over past three years. However, in the end, Russia has failed to change the political course of Ukraine and obtained “just the opposite result.”

Volker said this in an interview with the Echo of Moscow Russian radio station.

“The last few weeks in Donbas were actually the fiercest since the battles in Avdiivka in February. At the very beginning of the conflict in 2014, the clashes were the most violent, but since then, the year 2017 has become the most violent over three years, involving the artillery, snipers, and so on,” Volker said.

In his opinion, this escalation is linked with the fact that “all this while Russia hoped that it would put pressure on Kyiv or lead to a change in the government in Ukraine which would be friendlier to Russia, more pro-Russian.” However, according to Volker, Russian intervention has brought the opposite result: the Ukrainian leadership is now “more skeptical about Russia and more oriented towards the West than ever before.”