Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the UNO Branch and other International Organizations in Geneva

, Kyiv 11:28

Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine on significant aggravation of the situation in Donbas

18 August 2015, 10:50

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine expresses outrage at the significant aggravation of the situation in Donbas as a result of deliberate provocations of Russia-backed illegal armed formations.

Over the last week, the militants, using Russian weapons, have significantly increased shelling of Ukrainian military positions, civilian locations and infrastructure facilities. During this period, the number of shelling recorded has

exceeded 850. In particular, on August 14, the militants shelled the Ukrainian side 175 times. This is a record number over last six months. Heavy weapons, which must have been withdrawn according to the Minsk agreements, are being used.

Moreover, multiple rocket launch systems are used openly and in fact on a daily basis. This escalation leads to daily losses among Ukrainian servicemen and casualties among civilians.

Against this backdrop, illegal armed formations further concentrate forces alongthe contact line, while their ringleaders have intensified belligerent rhetoric claiming their intentions to launch an offensive and seize control of more territories.

The Ukrainian side urges the Russian Federation to undertake immediate measures in order to stop the escalation of the situation in Donbas and strictly implement the provisions of the Minsk agreements of September 5 and 19, 2014, as well as of February 12, 2015, in particular as regards the ceasefire and withdrawal of heavy weapons. Ukraine will apply all necessary efforts to draw attention of the international community to the dangerous aggravation of the situation in Donbas and ensure consideration of this issue within relevant international fora.