Military situation in eastern Ukraine worsens

Georgi Gotev – January 31, 2017

The Ukrainian foreign ministry expressed deep concern on Monday night (30 January) over the “intensification of the Russian-terrorist forces in Donbas”. Other reports, however, speak of a “creeping offensive” of Ukrainian forces in an attempt to create “new facts on the ground”.

According to a statement, for the last two days, Russian forces carried out massive attacks across the contact line using all available weapons, including Grad rockets, 122 mm and 152 mm artillery, 82 and 120mm mortars, and tanks, all of which are prohibited by the Minsk agreements. The Russian weapons killed 8 Ukrainian soldiers and have left 26 wounded, the statement adds.

Reports indicate that residential areas have been shelled.

“Two civilians have been wounded. The cities of Yasinovata and Avdiyivka were fully cut off from electricity by shelling. More than 400,000 peaceful civilians in the region have no access to water, electricity and heating. Given the harsh weather conditions and the continuing shelling by the militants, the humanitarian situation in the area continues to deteriorate,” the statement says.

According to the Ukrainian foreign ministry, “such actions of the Kremlin may qualify as a war crime, a gross violation of the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, an unlawful, wanton and extensive destruction of property not justified by military necessity”.