I welcome all the attention that British media and officials draw to the recent escalation by Russia of the situation in the East of Ukraine.
Though I cannot leave without comment the statements which cast the blame upon not only Russia and its terrorists but Ukraine.
Actually, there is no need to blame Ukraine for being responsible for attacking the terrorists. Ukrainian forces cannot and will not sit at ease when thousands of tons of ammunitions are fired at them.
If somebody claims that we don’t have to respond, then probably one would be willing to join Ukrainian soldiers on the frontline? …Just since January 29, 19 Ukrainian servicemen were killed, 100 – wounded. 3 civilians have lost their lives, 9 more were wounded…
The truth is that Kremlin turns Donbas aggression on and off like a tap which is a flagrant violation of the Minsk Agreements.
Unfortunately, some foreign officials have already caught up the Russian line…What next? Start demanding Ukraine to conduct local elections in Donbas even if they don’t meet the OSCE standards?....
Here are some facts for those who would be willing to go deeper and not limit himself or herself to superficial assessment of the situation…
At 4.30 am on January 29, 2017, Russian terrorists started shelling Ukrainian positions near the city of Avdiivka in the Donetsk region as well as the city itself where more than 20 000 civilians live.
Immediately after that Ukraine’s representative in the Joint Control and Coordination Centre (established in 2014 to oversee implementation of the Minsk agreements) proposed the Russian representative to meet and discuss the situation. The Russian general expressed no interest leaving request with no answer.
Ukrainian side has also immediately informed OSCE Special Monitoring Mission about permanent artillery coordinates of the terrorist and Russian forces.
In order to de-escalate the situation in Avdiivka, Ukrainian side initiated a regime of "silence" 312 times. Only 13 cases (4%) were successful in stopping shelling by the illegal armed groups. The Russian side in the Joint Control and Coordination Centre did not take any effective measures to ensure the ceasefire and non-use by terrorists of weapons prohibited under the Minsk agreements.
As a result, illegal armed forces have used more than 7 000 projectiles, shelling positions of Ukraine’s Armed Forces as well as objects of civilian infrastructure.
The overall weight of the ammunitions shelled by Russian terrorists is more than 330 tones.