According to the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the OSCE, the Ukrainian authorities categorically do not want to stabilize the situation in eastern Ukraine.
The picture of the conflict zone in the Donbass causes serious concern, as the Ukrainian authorities categorically do not want to stabilize the situation, agree on the establishment of a cease-fire regime and remove heavy weapons from the contact line, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Alexander Lukashevich, said. He also noted that numerous offers on this issue from the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and the Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) had been ignored, and the Ukrainian side has already routinely disrupted a decouplement of the forces in the area of Luganskaya village, which was scheduled on March 7.
Shelling of the territory, controlled by the People’s Militia, including critical infrastructure facilities, are ongoing. On February 24, the Ukrainian Armed Forces shelled the Donetsk filtration plant, using mortars, and damaged a storage facility with chlorine. They even shot down an unmanned aerial vehicle of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM). As Lukashevich stressed, there are no military facilities of the People’s Militia in the area of the Donetsk filtration plant.
“Yesterday, the station’s work and power supply of Avdeyevka were restored. However, we do not have confidence that Kiev will not shell the filtration plant again. The purpose of these attacks is to maintain tensions and provoke retaliatory actions,” the diplomat said.
According to the SMM, recently, there are twice more casualties among civilians on the territories, controlled by the People’s Militia, than on the contiguous lands. Only according to recent reports, on March 2, Zolotoye-5 village, where it is proposed to open a new crossing point of the contact line, was shelled. On March 3, three multi-unit apartment buildings in Donetskoye were seriously damaged. On March 4, a mortar shell damaged the home of a Russian officer of the Joint Center for Control and Coordination (JCCC) in Aleksandrovka, facilities in Dokuchaevsk and Dachniy were also shelled. On March 5, an artillery barrage hit Kominternovo. On March 7, a resident of Dokuchaevsk was wounded, four houses in Gorlovka were damaged, Stakhanov, Donetskoye and Pervomaisk were shelled. Lukashevich noted that according to tthe data from surveillance cameras, as in the case of the attack of the Ukrainian Armed Forces near Avdeyevka in late January, at first, there were shots from positions of the Ukrainian Army, and only after them artillery firefight began.
The Ukrainian Army keeps the considerable forces near the contact line, where 74 armored fighting vehicles were discovered during the week, while 71 pieces of military hardware were also found right behind the decouplement lines. Lukashevich pointed out that the Ukrainian warehouses storage less than 6 percent of military hardware that should have been withdrawn from the contact line.
According to the diplomat, there are no signs that Kiev has abandoned the tactics of a “creeping offensive,” a sequential seizure of sections between positions of the sides on the contact line. It is obviously that the Ukrainian authorities also do not refuse from the plans of taking the Donbass by force.
“The logic of the situation’s development indicates that Kiev will maintain tensions in the Donbass until it use all the shells. And there are many weapons in Ukraine,” Lukashevich said.
“Our Western colleagues, who are engaged in supply of military products to Ukraine, send their servicemen, instructors and mercenaries there, postpone the prospect of a settlement. It does not matter what explanations they use to cover such actions, they only cultivate bellicose mood in Kiev,” he added.
The diplomat believes that until Kiev faces the inability to maintain military tension in the Donbass, “it will not start to implement the political aspects of the ‘set of measures’.”