In Digest, Ukraine

TASS, August 12, 2015

Kiev says deploying weaponry in Donbas “not at variance with Minsk deals”

The secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, Oleksandr Turchynov, said on Wednesday that Ukrainian military are deploying artillery in Donbas while at the same time observing the Minsk agreements.

“We are developing active defense in the east, strengthening our armed forces with new weapons and hardware. Active defense envisages efficient reaction to any provocations by the enemy,” he said while examining new pieces of artillery deployed in the troubled Donbas. According to Turchynov, “the hardware is situated at the distance coordinated by the Minsk protocol.”

The defense ministry spokesman of the Donetsk People’s Republic said on Wednesday that more than 90 tanks, artillery and armored vehicles of Ukraine’s Armed Forces have been moved towards the contact line in Donbas.

The movement of troops and equipment to the areas close to the frontline comes with the use of fraudulent maneuvers, Eduard Basurin told reporters, citing intelligence data. Vehicles were found in the villages of Kodema, Prohorovka, Nevelsky and Andreyevka.

This comes in violation of the February 12 Minsk agreements which envisage the pullout of all heavy weapons by both sides to equal distance with the aim of creating a security zone on at least 50 kilometers apart for artillery systems of 100 mm caliber or more.

Ukrainian military try to break the militias’ defense

Early on August 10, the Ukrainian military tried to break the militias’ defense near the village of Starognatovka on the Mariupol direction. “After two hours of massive artillery preparation from large-caliber guns, Grad multiple rocket launchers, tanks and mortars near the Petrovskoye, Novaya Laspa and the Belaya Kamenka populated localities, the enemy used six armoured vehicles and six tanks to launch an offensive in the direction of Starognatovka and Belaya Kamenka,” Eduard Basurin, the spokesperson for the Defense Ministry of the DPR, told a briefing held at the Donetsk news agency.

He added that foreign drones and powerful field radio-electronic warfare complexes had been noticed in the vicinity of those populated localities since 3 am on August 10.

A battle broke out between Ukrainian troops and the self-defense militias. The Ukrainian military, Basurin said, were stopped and thrown back to the start line from where they continued shelling Petrovskoye and Belaya Kamenka.

The leadership of the (DPR) has asked the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to investigate Ukraine’s offensive near Starognatovka.

“Last night, the Ukrainian military committed another gross violation of the Minsk agreements. They knew that we had lived up to our commitment to withdraw all heavy weapons, including with a caliber under 100mm (from the disengagement line), and decided to take advantage of the situation to move deep into the DPR’s territory,” Basurin said.[1]

“We are calling on the OSCE SMM and the Joint Control and Coordination Centre to carry out immediate and detailed investigation into the attack. We also want the world community to be informed about the incident,” he added.

Basurin also called on Germany, France and Russia that guarantee the implementation of the Minsk agreements to influence the Kiev leadership and make it end its provocations and stop the shelling of the Donetsk republic.

[1] In July 2015, the DPR conducted a unilateral withdrawal of weapons of less than 100mm from the Minsk-2 ceasefire line, to a distance of 3 km or more. The larger the calibre of weapon, the further back it was moved. That left weapons of small calibre only on the front lines.


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