The Ukrainian delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) on Donbas has initiated an emergency meeting over gross violations of the ceasefire by Russia-led forces.
The relevant message has been posted by the delegation on Telegram.
It says Russian-controlled armed formations have killed three Ukrainian soldiers and another four have been wounded since March 30. In addition, a civilian has been wounded amid an attack on the town of Krasnohorivka.
Read alsoDonbas war update: Two KIA's amid seven truce violations on April 5"These gross violations of the ceasefire amid the unprecedented buildup of Russian forces near Ukraine's state border and the belligerent rhetoric of representatives of the occupying authorities cause deep concern among the political leadership of Ukraine and international partners," the delegation said.
Head of the Ukrainian delegation to the TCG Leonid Kravchuk has called on the OSCE to back Ukraine's initiative to convene an emergency meeting to immediately restore the ceasefire and return to strict implementation of the agreements of July 22, 2020.
Russian troops amassed along Ukraine's borders
- On March 30, 2021, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Colonel-General Ruslan Khomchak said Russia had deployed 28 battalion tactical groups along the state border of Ukraine and in the temporarily occupied territories. It is also said to be planning to bring up to 25 battalion tactical groups under the guise of preparing for military drills. Such actions pose a threat to Ukraine's military security.
- The U.S. Department of Defense said it was "aware of Russian troop movements" on Ukraine's borders and was concerned about recent escalations of Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine.
- On April 1, 2021, the Kremlin commented on the movement of Russian troops near Ukraine's borders, saying this should not cause "any concern" to anyone.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says Moscow is trying to put pressure on Kyiv by amassing its military forces along the Russian-Ukrainian border. At the same time, he assures Ukraine is ready to counter any provocation and continues to defend in the negotiations the position of maintaining a more effective ceasefire in Donbas.
- The Ukrainian Defense Ministry's Main Intelligence Directorate does not rule out that enemy forces may try to go for an incursion and deploy their troops deeper into the territory of Ukraine. According to intelligence reports, Russia is building up its military presence near the Ukrainian borders and is completing the preparation of a set of measures aimed at forcing Ukraine into a military response.
- On April 1, 2021, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Ukrainian Defense Minister Andriy Taran had a phone call on the initiative of the American side. Austin condemned the recent aggressive and provocative actions by Russia in eastern Ukraine and assured his counterpart of U.S. readiness to support Ukraine in the context of Russia's ongoing aggression in Donbas and Crimea.
- In turn, the Kremlin vowed "additional measures" if the U.S. troops are deployed on the territory of Ukraine.
- U.S. President Joe Biden in his first call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on April 2, 2021, affirmed the U.S. "unwavering support" for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity "in the face of Russia's ongoing aggression" in Donbas and Crimea.