Pro-Russian social media accounts spreading in mass information about the upcoming Ukrainian offensive and retaking Donbas by force. Both sides blame each other for violating the fragile ceasefire and prepare for the worst.
The situation in Donbas might worsen this week. Pro-Russian social accounts claim that Ukraine prepares an offensive and will take Donbas by force. Ukraine of course denies such statements and prepare for separatists offensive.
While the offensive is unlikely, they are some things to pay attention to. Vladimir Putin visits Crimea on 17-18 March. According to pro-russian social media accounts, Ukrainian forces should begin the offensive on the same day. Some of the rumors not only suggest a Ukrainian offensive but also anticipate Russian attack from north and south in case of aggression. Separatists claim they will be unable to stop the offensive without Russian help. Another aspect we should pay attention to is Russian reporters. The familiar faces are back in Donbas, Russian state media outlets arrived in Donbas as well. It’s probably not a coincidence and they are ready to report on something. What it is, remains to be seen.
We continue to monitor the situation closely.