DPR gives permission to its troops to fire on Ukrainian positions in Donbas

The self-proclaimed Donetsk Peoples Republic allowed the militants to open "warning" fire on the positions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the Donbas, reported the publication Ostrov.

"Due to the lack of response from international observers to the shelling of the settlements of the Republic, in order to protect the population from Ukrainian terror, the units of the People's Militia have been given permission to open fire to suppress and destroy the enemy's firing positions," said the "people's militia of the DPR" in an "emergency statement".

At the start of the meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) on the Donbas, the head of the Ukrainian delegation, Leonid Kravchuk, immediately protested against the statement of the "  DPR people's militia."

"We consider this statement as an indicator of a looming unilateral withdrawal of Russia from the ceasefire agreement and a threat to implementation of the Minsk agreements," Kravchuk said.

The Ukrainian representatives in the TCG also recalled the words of the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, who recently visited the Donbas.

"Unfortunately, Russia has not responded to Ukraine's positive initiatives to implement the Minsk agreements. Therefore, our economic sanctions against Russia will remain in force. Russia is a party to the conflict, not a mediator. We expect Russia to ensure full access to areas not controlled by the Ukrainian government. The COVID-19 pandemic should not be used as basis for further exclusion of these regions from Ukraine. We also call on Russia to return to the General Center for Control and Coordination," Michel said.

At the meeting of the TCG political subgroup on January 19, Ukraine proposed to develop a single "Plan of Joint Steps" on the Donbas. It was noted that it should include the proposals of all parties.

Donbas natives, journalists Denis Kazansky and Sergey Garmash, represent Ukraine at the meetings of Trilateral Contact Group.

In January, Garmash reported that the OSCE had allowed "public advisers" from DPR and LPR to attend the TKG meetings. Garmash said that the coordinator of the OSCE subgroup, Pierre Morel, "could not answer the question of the Ukrainian delegation about who these people represent at the meeting, saying that it is not customary to raise the issue of the status of the participants at the talks."

The OSCE stated that the negotiations of the political subgroup of the TKG on Donbass have been stalling since August 2020.

  Donbas, Russia, Ukraine