Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Donetsk People's Republic

Natalia Nikonorova's statement in connection with the incident in Zaitsevo

21 July 2020
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The incident occurred in the village of Zaitsevo, when after a mine device explosion, three servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were killed, each of whom had special equipment produced by NATO countries. One of them turned out to be an Estonian citizen. It is another confirmation that the Ukrainian authorities involved to the Donbass conflict foreign mercenaries.

This situation is another factor for complicating and slowing down on the Minsk process by Ukraine. Instead of directing all efforts to achieve mutually agreed solutions with Republics within the framework of peace process on the Minsk site, Ukrainian authorities only further exacerbate the tension and mistrust between the parties, attracting foreign mercenaries to the conflict.

The Donetsk People's Republic regards this fact as a gross violation of not only the Minsk agreements, but also the norms of international law. Thus, article 47 of the Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions (1977) states that mercenaries do not have combatant status and, therefore, they are not entitled to legal protection. The article 10 of the International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries (1989) defines a mercenary as an alleged offender. The article 3 of the UN General Assembly Resolution "Definition of Aggression" (1974) stipulates that the fact that a state has sent mercenaries can be qualified as an act of aggression. In addition, the presence of foreign mercenaries on the territory of Ukraine is a violation of the Package of Measures approved by the UN Security Council, paragraph 10 of which clearly establishes the need to withdraw all foreign mercenaries from the territory of Ukraine.

We categorically condemn such flagrant violations by the Ukrainian side of both the fundamental postulates of international law and the Minsk agreements approved by the UN Security Council resolution.