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Statement by Natalia Nikonorova in connection with the intensification of shelling of the DPR territory by Ukraine

While the Ukrainian government in Kiev is preparing unsubstantiated rhetoric for speaking to representatives of guarantor countries to explain and justify the failure of complying with Minsk agreements, their local armed forces have created chaos and anarchy. Over the past 24-hour period, the AFU violated the ceasefire 37 times, which is a record figure even for the period before the conclusion of an unlimited truce. The south of the Donetsk People’s Republic was under massive fire: the most affected was the village of Kominternovo, where 12 residential buildings and infrastructure were burned down. In addition, as a result of the AFU massive shelling, damage was recorded in Gorlovka and Zaitsevo.

The armed forces of Ukraine treacherously violate the agreed truce, increasing the number and intensity of shelling on the eve of the Normandy format meeting. It is known that the Ukrainian party practices such tactics regularly. All facts of the AFU war crimes are carefully recorded and transmitted to the OSCE leadership and to human rights organizations, including international organizations. At the upcoming meeting in Minsk, we will also demand proceedings and disciplinary punishment to violators.

Moreover, today the representatives of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission were at the fire epicenter from the armed forces side when they arrived to record the consequences of massive shelling of the south of the Republic. According to established practice in such urgent cases, the OSCE SMM should publish relevant information in its operational reports. We hope, besides stating the fact, to see also the active position of the OSCE - condemning the AFU actions.

We also call on the leaders of the guarantor countries of Minsk agreements, the curators of Ukraine, not to stand aside, but to put pressure on Kiev and those unbridled armed formations that are deliberately trying to disrupt the truce ahead of the meeting in Normandy format. The Ukrainian party needs to abandon the language of provocations and armed escalations, recognize the lack of alternativeness of Minsk agreements and finally begin to implement the peace plan for resolving the conflict in Donbass.