Ukraine Continues to Shell Donbass in the Hope of Gaining Leverage in Minsk Talks

Against the background of an aggravation at the frontline, the head of Ukraine’s Presidential office Andrey Ermak went to Minsk to obtain dividends for himself. This was reported by the former official representative of the People’s Militia of the Lugansk People’s Republic and reserve Lieutenant Colonel Andrey Marochko.

The situation in Donbass in recent days is increasingly tense. There is unrest in both the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. The UAF continues to violate the truce, firing prohibited weapons at the homes of peaceful citizens, as well as at the positions of the defenders of Donbass.

In the DPR, the Ukrainian armed forces violated the ceasefire 21 times over the past day, firing more than 200 rounds of ammunition on the territory of the Republic. The UAF was bombing all along the entire front line. Donetsk, Gorlovka, and Mariupol directions were subjected to shelling over the past day.

In the LPR, Ukrainian military forces from 59th brigade fired at Logvinovo village from the positions in the Luganskoye settlement, and the soldiers of the 72th brigade fired at Zolotoye-5. Weapons prohibited by the Minsk agreements were used. In addition, according to the People’s Militia, Ukrainian armed groups continue to use the truce to deploy military equipment and re-equip positions near populated areas, endangering the lives of civilians. Once again, the aggravation in Donbass is timed with the negotiations in Minsk.

Today, the head of the Presidential office of Ukraine Andrey Ermak and the Deputy head of the Presidential Administration of Russia, Dmitry Kozak, arrived in the capital of Belarus for talks, and at the moment consultations are being held behind closed doors. At the same time, three working groups are meeting with representatives of Kiev, Donetsk, and Lugansk. However, judging by the statements of President Vladimir Zelensky, as well as the sharp escalation in Donbass, these meetings and the hypothetical reached agreements are unlikely lead to something.

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Here’s what the head of Ukraine said today, commenting on the situation at the frontline: “I do not advise the enemy to think that our desire for peace weakens our ability to fight back. This is not true. The Ukrainian military are always empowered to give an adequate, powerful response to the actions of the aggressor. Anyone who thinks that they can shoot with impunity at Ukrainian soldiers is fatally mistaken. And this is proved by the statistics of enemy losses in March.”

As the former official representative of the People’s Militia of the Lugansk People’s Republic and reserve Lieutenant Colonel Andrey Marochko said, the aggravation in Donbass is on the rise. The number of attacks and weapons used significantly exceeds the terms of the Minsk Agreements: “ATGMs (anti-tank guided missiles), 122-mm howitzers and mortars, and 82-mm mortars are used. Moreover, the attacks are carried out both on localities and on the positions of the defenders of the Lugansk People’s Republic.”

In addition, according to Marochko, the Ukrainian Armed Forces, in violation of the Minsk Agreements, have actively started to use unmanned aerial vehicles, which, among other things, hinder the work of the OSCE mission: “Recently a case was registered, which was confirmed by the OSCE – the Ukrainian side launched quadrocopters in order to ram the drones of the Special Monitoring Mission.”

As for the statement of President Vladimir Zelensky about the “powerful response” of the Ukrainian military, according to Marochko it is very difficult to prove who opened fire first at the contact line, which is often used by the Ukrainian side. The former military officer recalled that according to the Minsk Agreements there shouldn’t be a response at all. “There should be a comprehensive cease-fire when any side is firing. If the Ukrainian military did not provoke the People’s Militia army and did not commit actions that contradict the Minsk Agreements, the conflict in Donbass would have died down long ago. But this is extremely unprofitable for Kiev, so it opts for tricks – it says one thing and does another,” said Marochko.

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Earlier it was reported that two residential buildings in the north of Gorlovka were damaged as a result of shelling carried out by the UAF. This was stated by the head of the city Ivan Prikhodko, specifying that at one of the addresses a direct hit of Ukrainian ammunition was recorded.

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