Relapse of large-scale military operations in eastern Ukraine may bury the process of peace settlement there, the Russian ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin said in a letter to the UN Security Council on Friday (July 22).
He warned that the actions undertaken by Kiev were indicative of its preparations for an armed operation in Donbass.
Churkin said precise implementation of the September 2014 and February 2015 Minsk accords obviously stands outside the scope of interests of the Ukrainian leadership. Simultaneously, all the symptoms indicate the Ukrainian military’s preparations for an armed operation.
“There is no way letting the provocations by Ukrainian military in the southeast (of Ukraine) grow over into full-scale combat operations along the entire frontline,” the letter said. “A relapse of the war may bury the process of peaceful settlement.”
“In this connection, we call on all the international partners to put pressure on Kiev so as to prevent events from taking a disruptive course,” Churkin said.
The letter cites a range of incidents registered over the past week by the Special Monitoring Mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, including the artillery shelling of school No. 84 and nearby residential houses in the city of Gorlovka.
“Analysis of SMM reports shows that artillery strikes at populated localities from the areas of deployment of Ukrainian armed units make up about 70% of all the case of shelling,” he said.
“Also, the OSCE observers have registered considerable movements of Ukrainian weaponry” in the security zone in Donbass, as well as overflights and firing exercises of the pro-Kiev forces.
Churkin recalled SMM deputy chief Alexander Hug told a news briefing in Vienna on July 11, the relocations of Ukrainian military technologies along the frontline in the areas of Svetlodarsk and Granitny, as well as Kiev’s statements on a decision to put its block posts forward closer to the line of contact in Zaitsevo and Beryovsky and to deploy the rightwing nationalist ‘volunteer’ battalions Azov and Donbass in the zone of conflict were among the factors contributing to growth of tensions in Donbass.
“The consequence of events is easy to trace,” Churkin said. “As of the end of last year, Kiev set out on a course of fanning tensions and put paid to a coordinated ceasefire in connection with a new academic year.”
The letters says the pro-Kiev forces have begun a sprawling seizure of the neutral zone and the populated localities situated there.