“Russia’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine and illegal occupation of Crimea”.

Peace News

According to Statement by the Delegation of Ukraine at the 968th Plenary Meeting of the OSCE

It is not a secret that Russia Federation officials all time try to avoid discussion the consequences of its ongoing armed aggression in Donbas which raises death toll among Ukrainian servicemen every week and brings suffering to the people of Ukraine.

For the past two weeks,the armed formations of the Russian Federation violated the ceasefire regime 76 times by shelling the positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine from different grenade launchers, heavy machine guns, small arms, including Minsk-proscribed 82mm and 120mm mortars. They continued using sniper fire and drones to drop VOG-17 shells and conduct distance mining by landmines POM-2.

Because of the ongoing armed aggression of the Russian Federation for the past two weeks, 8 Ukrainian servicemen were wounded and 7 killed.

Despite these outrageous armed provocations, the Armed Forces of Ukraine, in the majority of cases, exercised restraint. Constant shelling of the Russian armed formations clearly violate provision 2 of the TCG agreement of 22 July 2020 and lead to death and injuries among Ukrainian servicemen. Such actions jeopardize the fragile ceasefire regime.

Amid severe impediment of the freedom of movement of the SMM and interference with its assets on the temporarily occupied areas of Donbas,Russia continued enhancing its illicit military presence in the temporarily occupied areas of Donbas. Only on the 10thof February, the Mission reported on 34 pieces of 122mm multiple launch rocket systems BM-21 Grad in violation of withdrawal lines in the Luhansk region.

Large-scale military build-up by Russia in the vicinity of the contact line endangers the lives of civilians and Ukrainian servicemen. It reflects further readiness of the aggressor-state to launch offensive operations against the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Ukrainian side considers such actions of the Russian armed formations as a blatant violation of the Minsk agreements and disregard of the TCG ceasefire agreement of 22 July 2020, as well as deliberate steps to destabilize the situation in the temporarily occupied by the Russian Federation areas in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and adjacent territories and further instigation by Russia of the conflict it started.

The temporally occupied Crimea is used by the Russian Federation as a base for preparation of subversive actions of hybrid warfare against Ukraine. Russia has deployed the Federal Security Service (FSB) and Military Intelligence (GRU) special units on the territory of the peninsula with the task of conducting intelligence and subversive activity on the territory of Ukraine.

Most recently, in February 2021, the counterintelligence officers of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) exposed and neutralized the FSB agent network operating in Kyiv, Odesa, Mykolaiv, Zhytomyr and Chernihiv Oblasts of Ukraine.

The FSB planned to use this network for assisting sabotage and intelligence groups from the temporarily occupied Crimea in conducting subversive activity on the territory of the Mykolaiv region of Ukraine. The combat aircraft of the Armed Forces of Ukraine was one of its targets.

In conclusion, Ukraine once again urge the Russian Federation to stop its aggression against Ukraine, reverse its illegal occupation of Crimea, de-occupy parts of Donbas, and restore freedom of navigation in the Black Sea, through the Kerch Strait and in the Sea of Azov. Russia must fully implement its commitments under the Minsk agreements, including withdrawal of its forces, illegal armed formations and weapons from the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine.

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