26 February 2019, 18:36



Ukrainian army steps up provocations in Donbass ahead of Minsk talks - LPR militia

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LUGANSK, February 26 (Lugansk Media Centre) - Kiev forces are stepping up provocations on the contact line in Donbass in the runup to the Contact Group meeting in Minsk on Wednesday, trying to discredit the military and political leadership of the Republics, Lugansk People’s Republic People’s Militia spokesman Andrey Marochko said in comments on Kiev’s attempts to present the provocation in Zolotoye as a strike delivered by the LPR.

Earlier on Tuesday, Marochko said that a Ukrainian serviceman was killed in the Zolotoye area in a shootout with militants from the nationalistic Praviy Sektor (Right Sector, a far-right Ukrainian nationalist political and paramilitary group of neofascist ideology) “volunteer Ukrainian corps.”

The Kiev forces command and the media outlets it controls have been inventing new versions of the incident for the past two days trying to present it as shelling by the LPR militia.

“Apparently the strikes at our settlements, including at the Kiev-held part of the Lugansk People's Republic are delivered with the view of discrediting the LPR military and political leadership,” Marochko said. “As I have already stated, the number of such provocations increases in the runup to international meetings or scheduled Contact Group talks in Minsk.”

As for this particular situation, a strike was indeed delivered but the situation differs from the version presented by Ukrainian media. “There’s reliable information that the so-called volunteers fired at Ukrainian army units for some reasons; perhaps, it’s the next stage in the division of the spheres of influence between the armed forces and nationalistic squads,” the spokesman said.

The members of the Contact Group have announced ceasefire more than 20 times since the autumn of 2014. Kiev forces regularly violated the truce opening fire with large calibre artillery, mortars and tank guns which were to have been withdrawn in accordance with the Minsk agreements.

The Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements was adopted by the Contact Group on Ukraine on February 12, 2015 and supported by member states of the Normandy Four (Germany, Russia, Ukraine and France). The UN Security Council approved the document by Resolution 2202 and called upon all the sides to ensure full implementation of the Package of Measures.

The document provides for comprehensive ceasefire, withdrawal of all heavy weapons from the contact line, starting a dialog on reconstruction of social and economic ties between Kiev and Donbass. It also envisages carrying out constitutional reform in Ukraine providing for decentralization and adopting permanent legislation on a special status of certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

LuganskMediaCentre — 26 February — Lugansk