NATO Spokesperson: We Urge Russia to Withdraw its Forces

Russian supported separatist militants and mercenaries attacked Ukrainian military arrangements near the boundary line. The attacks took place adjacent to the town of Zolote, Luhansk region, around 600 kilometers southeast of Kyiv, in events confirmed by the Ukrainian military on February 18.

“The occupants are targeting our defenders with weapons banned by the Minsk agreements. The enemy is using 120-millimeter mortars… and also delivering fire from various grenade launchers and large-caliber machine guns. Under the covering fire, the Russian occupants launched an offensive and made an attempt to advance across the separation line,” the Ukrainian military stated.

The war-torn front is presently guarded by Ukraine’s 72nd and 93rd Mechanized Infantry Brigades.

NATO spokesman Oana Lungescu commented on the escalation on behalf of the Alliance, expressing concern.   

“We are concerned about the escalation of violence on the part of Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine this morning. This undermines the Minsk agreements and efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict,” she said.

Ms. Lungescu accentuated in her statement that NATO wholeheartedly supports and safeguards the ‘territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.’

"We continue to urge Russia to withdraw its forces, stop separatist support and make real efforts to implement the Minsk agreements," said the NATO spokeswoman.

As reported, the armed forces of the Russian Federation attacked the positions of the United Nations units near Novotoshkivske, Horichowe, Krimske, and Chutir Wilnyj on February 18.

The occupants are said to have shot at the Ukrainian military with illicit weapons: “120 mm mortars, grenade launchers of various systems and heavy machine guns.” The Russian aggressors commenced an active full-scale attack and attempted to cross the boundary line.

According to the Ukrainian media, a Ukrainian soldier was killed and four were wounded in the clash.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevišius “expressed deep concern at the offensive attempts by the Russian-backed forces”.

By Beka Alexishvili


19 February 2020 14:04