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STATE OF IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PACKAGE OF MEASURES FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE MINSK AGREEMENTS
Опубліковано 27 лютого 2015 року о 20:55

As of February 27, 2015

04:00 p.m.

STATE OF IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PACKAGE OF MEASURES

FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE MINSK AGREEMENTS

 

Ukraine

Russia and Russia-backed militants:

1. Immediate and comprehensive ceasefire in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine and its strict implementation as of 15 February 2015, 12am local time.

The Ukrainian side has rigorously adhered to the algorithm of the Minsk agreements.

The Ukrainian forces ceased fire as of 00:00hrs February 15 and have consistently abided by the silence regime since then. They have not conducted any offensive operations against the militants while having reserved a right of self-defense.

We did our best to move onto another stage of the implementation of the Minsk agreements which relates to the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of contact.

In this regard, Ukraine considers requesting the United Nations to deploy a peacekeeping operation in Ukraine. This initiative does not strike off the Minsk agreements. To the contrary, Ukraine views this operation as an indispensable instrument to ultimately help implement these agreements and to bring peace back.

In clear and flagrant breach of the Minsk agreements of both September 2014 and February 2015, the illegal armed groups, with direct support of the Russian regular forces, undertook a massive offensive on the town of Debaltseve after the summit in Minsk on February 12. On February 18-19, following President Poroshenko’s order, the Ukrainian troops retreated from Debaltseve. This blatant violation of the Minsk arrangements cost Ukraine lives of at least 22 servicemen. Moreover, over 170 were wounded, 110 were captured while 31 went missing. Despite terrorists’ and Russian mercenaries’ ultimatums that Ukrainian armed forces in Debaltseve lay down weapons and surrender, 2475 Ukrainian soldiers and almost 300 units of equipment left the town.

As of this morning, Russia-backed militants continue attacks against positions of the Ukrainian forces as well as civilian locations. Over the last two weeks, intense fighting is taking place in the village of Shyrokyne near Mariupol. In Donetsk region, attacks have been also registered in Avdiyivka, Svitlodarsk, Pisky, Opytne, Vodyane, Tonenke, Popasna etc. In Luhansk region, the towns of Stanytsya Luhanska, Zolote, Schastya and others have been attacked. During the attacks, militants have used mortars, artillery, MLRS and other weapons as well as tanks.

Over the last few days, the intensity of the attacks has reduced. However, the ceasefire cannot be partial. In general, since February 15, Russia-backed militants have fired on Ukrainian positions at least 535 times.

Just within last 24 hours, the Ukrainian military registered 27 episodes of shelling (as of 08:00 (Kyiv time), 27 February 2015). Three Ukrainian military have been killed and 7 wounded. In general, since February 15 (just within 12 days which were supposed to be peaceful), 57 Ukrainian military have been killed and 305 wounded as a result of shelling and attacks.

Since the beginning of the Russian aggression in April 2014, Ukraine has lost 1,539 servicemen killed6,197 servicemen were wounded. At least 338 civilians have lost their lives.

According to data of governmental bodies as of early February 2015, 5,086 people have been killed and 10,948 wounded in total. Real numbers could be much higher. In particular, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights reports that since April 2014 till February 15, 2015, 5,665 people have been killed and 13,961 injured, at least 1.25 million have fled their homes.

It is alarming that the militants not only continue attacks on Ukrainian positions but also use this period to regroup and get reinforcements. Also, they continue impeding the SMM’ to access many areas under their control.

2. Withdrawal of all heavy weapons by both sides by equal distances in order to create a security zone of at least 50 km wide from each other for the artillery systems of caliber of 100 and more, a security zone of 70 km wide for MLRS and 140 km wide for MLRS „Tornado-S“, Uragan, Smerch and Tactical Missile Systems (Tochka, Tochka U):

- for the Ukrainian troops: from the de facto line of contact;

- for the armed formations from certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine: from the line of contact according to the Minsk Memorandum of Sept. 19th, 2014;

The withdrawal of the heavy weapons as specified above is to start on day 2 of the ceasefire at the latest and be completed within 14 days.

The process shall be facilitated by the OSCE and supported by the Trilateral Contact Group.

On February 20, representatives of Ukrainian and Russian armed forces in the Joint Control and Coordination Center signed a plan of withdrawal of heavy weapons, which was coordinated with other signatories of the Minsk agreements.

On February 26, regardless of continuous violation of the ceasefire regime by the militants, President Poroshenko instructed the Ukrainian forces to start withdrawal of artillery with a caliber of 100 mm from the line of contact as a first step towards the comprehensive withdrawal. This process is carried out under monitoring of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission.

To proceed with further withdrawal, it is vital that the militants and Russian forces abide by the ceasefire. It is also vital that the withdrawal be properly monitored and verified by the SMM. We need to be sure that the other side adheres to its commitments in good faith and removes heavy weapons in effect.

On 27 February, President Poroshenko has said the Ukrainian troops are ready to return heavy weapons to their previous locations in Donbas if the enemy violates the Minsk agreements.

Although the militants have also started withdrawal of heavy weapons, we have data that in many cases they pull back weapons either partially or to distances which differ from what is envisaged in the Minsk agreements or in a way to strengthen their assault capabilities in other crucial areas.

Moreover, they relocate forces to positions that would allow them to conduct further offensive operations.

We also have data that the Russian side removes damaged and broken military equipment from the east of Ukraine and replaces it with new or repaired weaponry.

Moreover, a lot of heavy weapons are hidden in the cities and towns. This is very dangerous.

At the same time, heavy weapons and other military equipment as well as manpower continue flowing from Russia into the territory of Ukraine.

We also do not exclude provocations and terrorist attacks on cities and vital infrastructure facilities in other regions of Ukraine, in particular in Kharkiv and Odessa.

We observe a lot of military equipment, weapons and personnel as well as increased military activities of the militants together with Russian forces near Mariupol, in particular at the village of Shyrokyne. Also, drones have been quite active above this area.

It is not excluded that Mariupol may be the next target for the assault. Also, Avdiyivka, Dzerzhinsk, Schastya and some other areas are on this list.

3. Ensure effective monitoring and verification of the ceasefire regime and the withdrawal of heavy weapons by the OSCE from day 1 of the withdrawal, using all technical equipment necessary, including satellites, drones, radar equipment, etc.

Ukraine is committed to continue rendering all necessary assistance to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine to ensure effective monitoring and verification of the ceasefire regime and the withdrawal of heavy weapons.

The illegal armed groups in Donbas are reluctant to provide the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission with free and unimpeded access to all areas to effectively monitor and verify the ceasefire regime as well as the withdrawal of heavy weapons.

Despite the requirements of the Minsk agreements, the OSCE SMM was impeded to visit Debaltseve for about a week and could enter the town only on February 21.

7. Ensure safe access, delivery, storage, and distribution of humanitarian assistance to those in need, on the basis of an international mechanism.

Ukraine is doing its utmost to alleviate the difficult humanitarian situation being faced by the civilians in some areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which are under control of Russia and Russia-backed terrorists.

Humanitarian aid is exempt from taxes and fees. It is foreseen in the Law of Ukraine “On Humanitarian Aid” as well as relevant provisions of the Tax and Customs Codes of Ukraine.

The special Decrees of the Government of Ukraine establish rules of registration of humanitarian aid during the counter-terrorist operation. They foresee that non-tariff regulation of the foreign economic activity will be applied when goods cross the Ukrainian border. Thus, veterinary, phyto-sanitary, and environmental control is not applied.

International humanitarian, technical, charity and other non-repayable assistance provided to IDPs in Ukraine is targeted assistance and cannot be used for any other purposes or means.

Ukraine provides equitable distribution of humanitarian assistance to IDPs considering needs of disabled, single-parents, retirees, elderly, women and children.

To fully protect IDPs, a special interdepartmental Coordination Headquarters has been established.

In February 27, 2015 Russia, in breach of international law and Ukrainian legislation, has brought to Ukraine another – this time, the sixteenth – so-called “humanitarian convoy. It has illegally broken Ukraine’s border without consent of and proper inspection by the Ukrainian authorities and without coordination with ICRC. The convoy consisted of 170 vehicles. Most of the vehicles were trucks (104), 41 of them – gasoline tank trucks. Ukrainian officials claim that most of the vehicles were carrying non-humanitarian cargo.

 
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