During a session of the UN Security Council, Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Serhiy Kyslytsia brought up the topic of the conflict escalation in the Donbas.
“What is our status today? Apparently, an answer was given at 5 AM local time, when our positions came under attack. The attack, perpetrated today, on the fifth anniversary of the Debaltseve tragedy, was particularly shameless,” he said.
Kyslytsia remarked that the Armed Forces of Ukraine responded appropriately to this attack by the pro-Russian forces, who had used weaponry prohibited by the Minsk agreements. “Ukraine’s inalienable right to self defense was exercised,” the diplomat emphasized.
“It is evident that the Kremlin is continuing to pursue a strategy of escalation in the Donbas, which is a gross violation of the commitments taken on by Russia as a participant in the Minsk Agreements,” the deputy minister added.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky remarked earlier on Tuesday that “this is an attempt to undermine the peace process in the Donbas, which has started to move forward in small, but persistent steps”.
“Ukraine’s leadership has confirmed that our commitment to put an end to this war, as well as to comply with the agreements that have emerged, remains unwavering. Just like our resolve to fight back against any armed aggression against Ukraine,” Kyslytsia emphasized.
He drew attention to the fact that the agreements reached in December last year by the Normandy Format leaders are not being implemented.
“In complete disregard for the agreement formulated in December last year by the Normandy Format leaders, over the last two months our positions have been shelled more than 400 times. Since the start of the year, 13 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed, and almost 60 have been wounded. Can anyone call this a frozen conflict or a low-intensity conflict? It’s a war, the only ongoing war in Europe. A full-fledged war, unleashed by the Russian Federation,” said the Ukrainian diplomat.
During the UN Security Council session, Ukraine’s deputy foreign minister showed a photograph of a Ukrainian soldier who was killed on February 18, and accused Russia of complicity in this crime.
He stressed that by blaming Ukraine, the victim of the aggression, Russia is trying to tarnish the memory of the Ukrainians killed in the war in the Donbas.