Ex-military leader pushes for Russia mediation

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The coming days will be determine whether a political solution is possible for hostilities between the rebels and Ukraine to come to an end, says ex-Major General Frans van Kappen. The ex-military leader does not rule out that Russia is heading for an intervention, however, the NOS reports. 

In an interview on Nieuwsuur, Van Kappen said that The Netherlands made the right decision ending the mission in eastern Ukraine to repatriate the remaining victims and their possessions as tensions in the area rise to a boiling point.

According to the ex-Military leader, The Netherlands is constantly informed of all the goings-on in the area by various informants, including their own intelligence service and NATO. The decision to end the mission came from information from all these sources.

Safeguarding the Dutch investigators is but part of the story, however, as Van Kappen believes that the Russians are busy creating a political basis for an intervention in Ukraine. "The first move was made by calling the UN Security Council together. The Russian ambassador pointed to the worsened humanitarian situation in Ukraine."

According to Van Kappen, Russia will play its role by first arguing that Ukraine is not protecting its citizens, and will then call for international intervention. He says that if a state does not protect its citizens "the international community can step in. In this case, Russia will pick up the ball and direct a humanitarian intervention."

Van Kappen knows that Russia's military bodies will be easy to deploy, saying that there are 20,000 troops at the Ukrainian border. "At a distance of 750 kilometers from the borders, the Russians have organized a week-long training with 40,000 soldiers", which will also be easy to bring to the border, Van Kappen tells Nieuwsuur.

The ex-Major General believes the time for action has come, whether diplomatic or not. "The coming 48 hours will be decisive for a possible political solution. Otherwise, a different chapter will begin."