Kremlin accuses Ukraine of trying to draw Russia into hostilities in Donbas

The Ukrainian authorities are trying to draw Russia into hostilities in the Donbas, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on air of the TV channel "Russia 24".

"Yes, the escalation is obvious. Attempts to create a provocative situation, to cause some kind of response from the militia and, probably, to draw Russia into some forceful actions. This is noticeable, " Lavrov said.

“In particular, there is a “mysterious story" that Ukraine used a Bayraktar drone in the Donbas, bought from Turkey,” Lavrov continued.

"The commander of the Ukrainian Armed Forces says that these weapons were used, and the Defense Minister says that nothing like this happened. I think they are now discussing whether it is more beneficial for them, to show "coolness" that they have already begun to bomb in a gross, direct violation of the Minsk agreements, or to say that they still fulfill the Minsk agreements and want to negotiate in the "Normandy format", Lavrov said.

At the same time, Lavrov stressed that Russia does not need a "meeting for the sake of a meeting."

At the end of October, the General Staff of Ukraine reported that a Bayraktar drone was used for the first time in the Donbas. Kyiv purchased these combat drones from Turkey in 2019. They are capable of carrying four missiles with a range of up to 8 km (in some modifications - up to 16 km). The General Staff of Ukraine, said that the drone was used "to force the enemy to a ceasefire."

After these reports, Lavrov said that Russia was verifying the information. Russian Foreign Minister Maria Zakharova, in turn, added that attempts to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine by force "will have the saddest, most unpredictable and tragic consequences."

At the same time, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Ukraine "does not attack but responds." According to him, the use of a drone in the Donbass did not violate the ceasefire agreements and Kyiv will continue to respond in this manner.

A few days later, The Washington Post reported, citing its sources, that Russia allegedly began to deploy troops to its border with Ukraine.

  Donbas, Bayraktar, Ukraine, Russia