Comment of the Ambassador of Ukraine to the Republic of Cyprus HE Mr. Ruslan Nimchynskyi

Russian allegations that Ukraine intends to launch an offensive operation in the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions are completely false

Ukraine does NOT intend to launch an offensive operation in the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Ukraine is NOT conducting or planning any sabotage acts in Donbas. We remain firmly committed to the political settlement and, together with our partners, pursue the diplomatic dialogue.

The whole world observes the Russian Federation unfolding its campaign to disseminate massive disinformation and escalate the security situation:

— on 17-18 February, Russia’s illegal military formations shelled Ukrainian towns of Stanytsia Luhanska and Maryinka as well as communities along the contact line with weaponry prohibited under the Minsk Agreements, damaging civilian infrastructure and causing injuries to civilians and Ukrainian military;

— during 17 February alone, Russia’s illegal military formations made 60 ceasefire violations, using weaponry prohibited under the Minsk Agreements in the vast majority of cases;

— on 17 February, the Russian delegation used the premise of the UN Security Council to spread insinuations and groundless accusations towards Ukraine, discrediting the latter’s peaceful efforts;

— on 17 February, Russian propaganda disseminated fake news alleging that a Ukrainian group had committed an act of sabotage at a chemical plant in Donetsk region;

— on 17 February, Russia refused to hold an extraordinary round of consultations of the security subgroup of the Trilateral Contact Group convened by the Ukrainian delegation to discuss the shelling of Ukrainian towns from the temporarily occupied territories;

— on 18 February, the Russian side once again accused Ukraine of planning an offensive operation in Donbas. Residents of temporarily occupied areas are being urged to evacuate to Russian territory. We are particularly concerned about the reports of mass transfering of children from the occupied territories to Russia;   

— during 18 February alone, Russia violated the ceasefire 66 times, including 52 times with the use of weapons prohibited under the Minsk agreements;

— in addition to that, Russia’s illegal military formations launched 622 firearms attacks on the positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine;

— on 18 February, Russia shelled the humanitarian convoy of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees near the crossing point SHCHASTIA as the convoy was returning from the non-government-controlled areas;

— the shelling and provocative fire represent gross violation by the armed formations of the Russian Federation of the commitments under the Minsk agreements and the agreements reached by the leaders of the Normandy Format at their 2019 summit in Paris.

Russia is making these moves to increase psychological pressure on both the Ukrainian government and the residents of the temporarily occupied territories, and to form information background to conceal escalation of the security situation.

Ukraine calls on our partners to condemn immediately the ceasefire violations by the Russian armed formations in Donbas and urge Moscow to deescalate. The new wave of military aggression against Ukraine will lead to severe consequences not only for security of Ukraine but also for security of the entire Europe. The absence of proper reaction or a neutral stance will only serve further escalation.