February 1, 2017 – Fort Russ News –
RIA Novosti – translated by J. Arnoldski –
The Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Igor Pavlovsky, admitted during a press briefing today that the Ukrainian armed forces are carrying out offensive operations in Donbass.
“Today, no matter what, meter by meter, step by step and seizing the opportunity, our boys are heroically moving forward,” Pavlovsky stated while commenting on the situation in Avdeevka.
However, the minister did not comment on questions concerning Ukraine’s observance of the Minsk Agreements, in particular the agreement on withdrawing heavy weapons from the contact line.
The Donbass militia and Ukrainian security forces have both declared that the situation in Donbass has deteriorated. Each side continues to blame the other for launching offensive actions.
In the city of Avdeevka under Ukrainian control, where more than 30,000 people reside, a state of emergency has been declared due to shelling.
A “difficult situation” also prevails in militia-controlled Yasinovataya and Donetsk. The Ministry of Defense of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic has stated that the UAF has launched six offensive attempts over the last 24 hours, losing more than 90 men in the process.
The Kremlin believes that it is the Ukrainian side that has opted for active combat operations in the Avdeevka area.
Russian Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov told journalists today: “We are dealing with provocative actions by the armed forces of Ukraine and individual groups.” Peskov drew attention to the Ukrainian army’s words “advancing meter by meter.”
“This de facto confirms that these are offensive operations,” Peskov emphasized. According to him, Kiev’s policy is thus undermining the Minsk Agreements.