Russia is trying to capture new Ukrainian territories by continuing to violate the Minsk agreements, said Ihor Prokopchuk, Ukraine’s Permanent Representative to the International Organizations in Vienna. He made the statement during a session of the Permanent Council of the OSCE, as reported on the Ukrainian Mission’s Twitter account.
“Russia, instead of pulling out from Ukraine’s territory, again attempts to seize larger territories in violation of the Minsk agreements: the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) registers new sets of trenches seen for 1st time, up to 1km further west than previously observed positions of Russian proxies near Stavky and Horlivka,” Prokopchuk said.
He also accused Russia of interfering with the work of the OSCE SMM in the Donbas.
“Russian armed formations, having downed a long-range OSCE SMM drone in the completely Russia-controlled Donbas territory near the border with Russia, have diminished the Mission’s monitoring capability, which was their obvious aim,” the diplomat stated.
In addition, during the session, Prokopchuk condemned the upcoming elections in the self-declared Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics scheduled for November 11. He believes that Russia is holding these elections “in an attempt to create an air of legitimacy around new appointments in its occupation administration”.
The war in the Donbas began in spring 2014, when the Donetsk and Luhansk provinces of Ukraine proclaimed their autonomy from Kyiv following a change in Ukraine’s government. In order to reclaim these territories, the Ukrainian government began a military operation in the Donbas, which is still underway. Kyiv accuses Moscow of supporting the self-proclaimed republics, and regularly claims that Russian troops are directly involved in the armed conflict.