On Tuesday, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev stated that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's current pro-West strategy could lead to a total dismantling of the state, Newsweek reported.
Patrushev said, "The Kiev authorities are doing everything to split Ukraine, implementing the West's scenario for separating Ukraine from Russia, while ignoring the interests of their own people. In the end, the country was effectively split. The continuation of such a policy by the Kiev authorities may contribute to Ukraine's loss of statehood."
The U.S. has been giving military assistance to the country’s armed forces and pro-government militias to combat the rebels. The war has been largely deadlocked, but new fears are arising that Ukraine and Russia will engage in direct conflict soon. This comes after Russian warships fired on and seized Ukranian naval vessels and accused them of violating maritime law for sailing through disputed waters.
No conflict occurred, but at least eight of the 24 sailors from Ukraine continue to be detained.
At the end of March, Ukraine will have a presidential election that will affect the fighting. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that an end to Ukraine's war will depend on whether Kiev elects a "party of war" or one of "peace and diplomacy."