Socialist Worker

Fighting intensifies in eastern Ukraine as rival powers trade sanctions

by Tomáš Tengely-Evans
Issue No. 2417

German chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian president Vladimir Putin have been in talksGerman chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian president Vladimir Putin have been in talks (Pic: Presidential Press and Information Office)

Heavy fighting is continuing between government and pro-Russian separatist forces in eastern Ukraine.

The Ukrainian military has reached the outskirts of Luhansk, one of two capitals of the self-proclaimed “people’s republics”.

The army has also made headway in Donetsk, the other separatist stronghold.

More than 2,000 people have died as a result of the conflict. 

Mortars and rockets hit a refugee convoy fleeing Luhansk on Monday of this week.

Imperialist brinkmanship between the West and Russia has intensified.

The Ukrainian government blocked a Russian attempt to send an aid convoy into Ukraine. The US hypocritically warned Russia not to use the humanitarian situation as a pretext for invasion.

The West and Russia have imposed sanctions on each other. 

Russian sanctions banning Western food produce have hit Lithuania, Poland, Finland and Denmark.

The Bulgarian government, under Western pressure, stopped construction on Russian energy giant Gazprom’s South Stream pipeline.

Russian oil producer Rosneft has also requested a bailout under pressure from sanctions. 

Some European Union countries fear that sanctions could endanger a European “recovery” by damaging links with Russia.

Yet the logic of imperialism drives further confrontation.

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