Ukraine MFA: Russian aggression continues in Donbas and Crimea
On February 20, 2014, Russia launched an armed aggression against Ukraine by occupying the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol. This aggression now continues in Donbas, according to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry's statement on implementation of the Minsk agreements published on Monday.
"Since the beginning of the aggression over 2,600 Ukrainian servicemen have been killed and more than 9,000 wounded. Only in the two months of 2016 Ukrainian positions have been shelled over 2,500 times, leaving 12 Ukrainian servicemen killed and more than 150 wounded," the statement says.
During these years of aggression, a 40,000-strong army has been built up in Donbas financed, equipped and maintained by Russia and commanded by Russian officers. This army has been supplied with sophisticated modern Russian weaponry: heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems as BM-21 Grad, Tornado and TOS-1 Buratino, surveillance and secure communication devices (electronic warfare complexes Rtut-BM, Shipovnik-Aero, Leer-2, 1RL257 Krasukha-4), air defense systems Buk (SA-11 Gadfly), Strela (SA-13 Gopher), Pantzyr (SA-22 Greyhound). Now it has near 470 tanks, 870 armored combat vehicles, 450 artillery systems, 190 MLRS. Russia has been also using such prohibited weapons as cluster warheads (9M55K, 9N235) and anti-personnel mines (PMN-2, MON-50).
Ukraine has been consistently implementing its commitments under the Minsk agreements on security, political, humanitarian and social-economic tracks. It ceased the fire; guaranteed full access of the SMM monitors; presented a concept on modalities of local elections in the certain areas of Donbas based on the Minsk agreements, international standards and Ukrainian legislation; made an important step towards political settlement, adopting the draft law on amending the Constitution in the first reading.
The Ukrainian government continues delivering natural gas and electricity to militants-controlled areas, allocates pensions and other social benefits to Ukrainian citizens in the occupied territories of Donbas. Under constant shelling, Ukrainian teams are repairing infrastructure, gas, water, and power lines to secure needs of civilian population.
Russia has fulfilled none of its obligations under the Minsk agreements.
Russia and its proxies continue military provocations, including by using the weapons that should have been withdrawn under the OSCE monitoring and verification – multiple launch rocket systems, self-propelled artillery, 82mm and 120mm mortars. Russian troops in Donbas continue with unfettered rotation, training and supply through the uncontrolled sections of the state border.
Thus far, the OSCE SMM has not been provided with full, secure and unhindered access to all territories controlled by Russia and its proxies. No progress has been achieved on OSCE access to the border and on establishing the security zone, as envisaged by the Minsk agreements, to stop and prevent the massive inflow of weapons and troops to Ukraine.
Russia and its proxies continuously obstruct releasing more than 130 Ukrainian hostages, while subjecting them to inhuman treatment and tortures and threatening the hostages with capital punishment based on the USSR criminal code.
Russia continues political persecutions of Ukrainian citizens and refuses to release Ukrainian political prisoners Savchenko, Sentsov, Kolchenko and others, illegally detained in Russia.
Russia and the militants are blocking delivery of Ukrainian and international humanitarian aid to the civil population and systemically impede activities of the international humanitarian organizations, including the ICRC.
Ukraine urges all UN member states to demand from the Russian Federation to fulfill all its commitments under the UN Charter and international law, to implement the Minsk agreements in full and in good faith and to stop immediately all acts of aggression against Ukraine.
"We call on the international community to exert maximum pressure on Russia and maintain sanctions until Donbas and Crimea are de-occupied and the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine is restored," the report says.