Estonian officials and experts weigh in on Mariupol attacks
Former foreign minister and current MEP Urmas Paet said the next few weeks will be very bloody in Ukraine.
“The bombing of Mariupol and putting Russian troops in Crimea on stand-by points to an attempt to create a physical land connection between territories controlled by the so called separatists of Luhansk, Donetsk, and Crimea,” he said.
He said the renewed violence will add to the army of refugees, which already number 600,000.
Estonian Ambassador in Kyiv, Sulev Kannike, said that many have called on the Ukrainian government to begin attacks against the separatists, but President Petro Poroshenko is aware of the potential risks.
The continued attacks after taking the Donetsk airport are a logical step as the separatists try to build on their success. “Obviously, the order came from Moscow where there are political games at hand,” he said.
The current situation is similar to the end of the previous cease-fire, when the Ukrainian society and armed forces said there is no point in sticking to defense only, but rather, the attacks must also be carried out.
“But it [a counterattack] bears great risks from Ukraine as Russia has so far balanced any Ukrainian counterattack,” Kannike said, adding that Russian forces have made counterattacks even after smaller attacks.
“I believe that President Poroshenko is aware of the risks when the Ukrainian army should venture beyond its fortified positions, and try to achieve something in direct open battles.” he said.
Security expert Kaarel Kaas said it is probably likely that rockets were used in the attack, adding that the fact alone points to pro-Russian separatists.