Ukraine has noticed an upward trend in tensions in the military-controlled region of Donbas, where “weapons, ammunition and military equipment are being supplied daily”. Interfax-Ukraine reported that this was said by Ukraine’s Minister of Defense, Stepan Poltorak, in his speech at the opening of the active phase of the Ukrainian-American exercises in Odessa.
“These exercises are being held at a time when the situation in eastern Ukraine is deteriorating. However, they are an important component of the reform of the Armed Forces. We are seeing a continued increase in tensions in eastern Ukraine. Trains are arriving every day in Donetsk and Luhansk. They carry fuel, ammunition, logistical support, weapons and equipment. This shows their [Russian] aggression towards Ukraine,” Poltorak said.
The Commander of the Ukrainian Naval Forces, Ihor Voronchenko, has said that the exercises are “a response to all the ideologues, curators and sponsors of the hybrid war”. He also said that they will assist in quickly restoring the combat capability of the Ukrainian fleet that was withdrawn from Crimea.
Over the past day, six Ukrainian soldiers were killed, 13 were injured and eight received concussions in the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine. This was reported by the Speaker of the Presidential Administration on the conflict issues, Olexandr Motuzyanyk.
“We express our condolences to the families of the fallen soldiers,” Motuzyanyk said at a briefing on Sunday in Kiev.
He said that the tensest situation on Saturday happened in the direction of Luhansk where three armed clashes occurred and 15 separatist attacks were recorded.