Earlier today, in what appears to be a risky game of “double or quits”, the leaders of the Donbass, have decided to go ahead with the referendum scheduled for May 11th.  For the second time in 24 hours I am rather surprised as I had expected them to use the opportunity given by Putin’s request to postpone the referendum.  Apparently they feel that they have invested too much in terms of time, energy and money to agree to a postponement.    Either that, or they feel that even though conditions are bad now, they will only be even worse in the foreseeable future.

What is certain is that the junta warlord in charge of violence – Parubii – had already rejected any notion of stopping the current offensive even before the Donbass leaders had met to discuss their response to Putin’s request.  In fact, combat operation have already resumed in Mariupol where unidentified black-clad gunman have attacked the local resistance forces.  Needless to say, the OSCE had nothing useful to say about any of it.

As for two official Imperial “spokespersons” Jen Psaki and Anders Fogh Rasmussen – they immediately rejected Putin’s plan for negotiations saying it was not enough and that NATO did not see any change in the Russian force posture.  As for “Iats” – he rejected it all as “hot air”.  Nothing new on the western front.

It is really hard for me to make sense of the situation in the Ukraine, but with apparently only Russia interested in exploring a negotiated solution and with a highly-polarizing Victory Day celebration coming up tomorrow, a dramatic escalation of violence in the next couple of days appears likely to me.

The Saker

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