The analytical department of the Prava Sprava public initiative says that according to local sources, on March 7th, in a city of Luhansk and near the settlement of Stanytsia Luhanska, employees of the Ministry of State Security of the self-proclaimed LPR, were planning to commit a series of provocative acts against members of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) under the guise of Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance groups. According to reports directly from the scene, the provocations are planned to be carried out near the Slovyanaskyi hotel which is located at 1-A Slovyanska Street in the city of Luhansk.
The Special Services of the self-proclaimed republic are planning to conduct an attack on sites where the OSCE observers will be present, through the use of small arms and mortars. This will occur near Stanytsia Luhanska during the scheduled monitoring of the withdrawal of troops on March 7th, in accordance with the ceasefire agreements previously reached by the Trilateral Contact Group.
What drew attention to this was a statement issued on March 5th by the press service of the People's Militia of the LPR about possible provocations by the Armed Forces of Ukraine at the withdrawal sites near Stanytsia Luhanska. "In the area where the 14th Brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces is stationed, during the training of artillery spotters, a drone conducting reconnaissance on the brigade's stretch along the contact line was detected. We can conclude that the Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are planning to make illegal provocative attacks in the area, using artillery as well as mortars on the eve of the withdrawal of forces near Stanytsia Luhanska," the press service of the People's Militia of the LPR says.
It is noteworthy that the preparations for these provocations by the separatists’ special services is conducted at a time when the leaders of the self-proclaimed republic are making similar statements.
On February 17th the leader of the LPR, Igor Plotnitsky, during a meeting with the Principal Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE SMM to Ukraine, Alexander Hug, said that the republics are not satisfied with the one-sided assessment of the conflict in the Donbas region by members of the OSCE SMM. According to Plotnitsky, the self-proclaimed LPR and DPR will restore their confidence in the OSCE SMM only when observers start providing objective assessments of the crimes committed by the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the republics. On March 5th at a briefing in the occupied Luhansk, a representative of the self-proclaimed LPR in the Minsk talks, Vladyslav Deinego, said that Ukraine abandoned the scheduled withdrawal for March 7th. According to Deinego, in their reports, the representatives of the OSCE SMM mentions "absolutely ephemeral things" about the attacks in the Donbas. "What is mentioned in the daily reports of the OSCE are absolutely ephemeral things," he said.
According to the analytical department of Prava Sprava, the provocation planned by the special services of the self-proclaimed LPR will be used to blame Ukraine for blocking the process of withdrawing forces at the contact line near Stanytsia Luhanska, which will happen on March 7th.
On March 1st a meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group was held in Minsk, during which the parties agreed on the withdrawal of forces and military equipment by the opposing sides along the contact line near Stanytsia Luhanska on March 7th.