On Tuesday morning, Donbas militants attacked the positions of Ukraine’s Joint Forces Operation (JFO) near Novotoshkivske, Orikhove, Krymske, Khutir Vilny (Luhansk region).
According to the JFO press service, Russia-backed forces make shell attacks on the positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine using arms banned by the Minsk Agreements, in particular, mortars of 120mm caliber. Grenade launchers and large-caliber machine guns were also deployed.
“As a result of the collision, unfortunately, one serviceman killed, three injured and two shell-shocked. Wounded and shell-shocked now are at the treatment establishments, they are provided with the medical aid,” news agency Interfax Ukraine quotes Ruslan Khomchak, Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
At about 10 am the attack was repelled, the enemy asked for the ‘silence’ regime, the Ukrainian side says. The separatists lost one man; five were seriously injured.
The attack was nothing but a cynical provocation staged by the illegal armed groups on the fifth anniversary of the Debaltseve tragedy, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Tuesday.
“The shelling was carried out by weapons prohibited by the Minsk Agreements. The soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine decently repelled the aggressor. Unfortunately, casualties are reported on our part,” the presidential press service quotes the Ukrainian leader.
According to Zelensky, although the separatists attempted to disrupt the peace process in Donbas, Ukraine’s course towards the end of the war and commitment to international agreements remains unchanged.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affair has called on the international community to condemn the escalation of the conflict in Donbas.
Very concerned by escalation in #Donbas following the latest Russian attack. Prohibited weapons used resulting in a new wave of casualties. This is the latest breach of agreements reached at N4. We call on the intl. community to condemn this escalation. #StopRussianAggression pic.twitter.com/L3QOraRc9p
— Kateryna Zelenko ?? (@KaterynaZelenko) February 18, 2020
belsat.eu, following Interfax Ukraine