Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine

Kyiv 16:37

Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine on the deteriorating situation in Donbas

30 January 2017, 22:11

Ukraine's Foreign Ministry expresses deep concern over the intensification of the activities of Russian-terrorist forces in the Donbas region.

For the last two days, the occupying Russian forces carried out massive attacks across the contact line using all available weapons, including MLRS "Grad", 152 mm and 122 mm artillery, 120 and 82 mm mortars, and tanks, all prohibited by the Minsk agreements, as well as small arms. Russian weapons have killed eight Ukrainian soldiers and wounded 26.

Civilians are also suffering due to shelling of residential areas: two civilians have been wounded. Shelling fully cut off electricity from the cities of Yasinovata and Avdiyivka . More than 400,000 peaceful civilians in the region have no access to water, electricity and heating. Given the harsh weather conditions and continued shelling by militants, the humanitarian situation in the area continues to deteriorate.

The Kremlin’s actions may qualify as a war crime, a gross violation of the Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949, and an unlawful, wanton and extensive destruction of property not justified by military necessity.

Obviously, the current escalation in Donbas is a clear indication of Russia's continued blatant disregard of its commitments under the Minsk agreements, with a view of preventing the stabilization of the situation and achieving any progress in the security and humanitarian spheres.

We demand that the Russian Federation  immediately cease hostilities and comply strictly with the ceasefire.

We request our international partners to step up political and diplomatic pressure on the Kremlin to stop dangerous escalation in Donbas and avoid a humanitarian catastrophe in the region.

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