173 Ukrainian troops killed in Donbas in 2016 – Def.Minister
173 Ukrainian military servicemen have been killed during the Anti-Terrorist Operation since the beginning of 2016, Ukraine’s Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak said during a meeting with the Chief of the Defense Staff of the Armed Forces of Sweden Dennis Gyllensporre held in Stockholm, the press service of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry reports.
"Today Russia pursues its policy of deliberate escalation of the conflict. Since the beginning of 2016, the Russian occupation troops violated the ceasefire more than 12,000 times, which resulted in the death of 173 [Ukrainian] soldiers," said Poltorak.
He has also said that 6,000 Russian troops stay illegally in the Ukrainian territory at the moment.
The Ukrainian delegation also showed their Swedish counterparts "a video, which clearly shows how military equipment and weapons, vehicles with logistical supplies get through the state border with Russia into the occupied territory of Ukraine". However, Poltorak said that Ukraine continues the policy of a peaceful settlement.
Read alsoOSINT spots DPR military hardware near Rozdolne in violation of Minsk accordsThe parties also discussed the plan of the Ukrainian-Swedish cooperation. In particular, the assistance to the Ukrainian side in training tactical medics, the resumption of cooperation in the field of environmental safety and other issues have been discussed.
Ukraine’s Defense minister invited the chief of defense staff of the armed forces of Sweden to visit Ukraine to meet with Chief of General Staff Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
In turn, Dennis Gyllensporre noted that Ukraine is passing a major test, and at the same time, the Ukrainian Armed Forces are actively developing. Stressing readiness to share experience, especially with regard to interoperability with NATO member states, he said the Swedish side was pleased to accept the invitation to further enhance cooperation.