Agreed by the Tripartite Contact Group, a “one-time inspection” of the Armed Forces of Ukraine positions near the village of Shumy in Donbas will not take place.
As the Office of the President of Ukraine reported, an“inspection” was cancelled because of the constant changes in the Russian side’s requests.
“Representatives of illegal armed groups in ORDLO did not expect Ukraine’s constructive position. Belief in their propaganda and detachment from reality prevents them from adequate evaluation of the events that take place,” the statement announces.
The President’s Office said that the Ukrainian side had received many contradictory requests, distorted the nature of the ceasefire agreements, and humiliated the OSCE as an authoritative and objective mediator.
Besides, the Office stressed that the OSCE has repeatedly confirmed that the Ukrainian side has in no way violated the terms of the ceasefire in Donbas. During the six weeks since 27 July, Ukraine has faithfully complied with all the conditions.
“We can and want to do this in the future to move from “silence” in Donbas to constant peace,” the OP said. It also stated that the Russian-controlled militants in Donbas show that they have a completely different goal, namely PR instead of peace.
Meanwhile, the Joint Forces Operation Deputy Commander Bohdan Bondar stated that the Ukrainian military at the headquarters and the front line believe the idea of inspection to be an outreach provocation by the militants.
“When the Ukrainian side agreed to certain actions, we also had some remarks that the Russian side had to do. They have not fulfilled them, so, accordingly, no verification has taken place,” the general said.
He said that the Russian side and the militants controlled by it demanded visits to new, agreed points; photos and video recordings, as well as a signing of a joint-inspection report. The Russia-backed militants also planned to take their flags with them, as Ukrainian military officials believe, for a provocation.
“For example, they said, that wanted to check this point with these coordinates. In a day or two, they send another one, then – the third. Yesterday at 11:56 p.m., they deliberately sent some others wants of them, ” Bondar said.
He added that when OSCE observers were on duty, the enemy blew up reconnaissance drones, which is a gross violation of the ceasefire. Besides, during the inspection, the militants opened aimed fire with small arms.
The JFO headquarters notes that the militaries could not agree to such conditions and that’s why the country’s leadership was warned that inspection was impossible.
To recap, the agreement to inspect Ukrainian positions near the village of Shumy together with Russia-backed militants provoked a storm of patriotic Ukrainian criticism. Protests took place in many cities across the country. The rallies took place in Dnipro, Zaporizhia, Chernivtsi, Lviv, and Kyiv, in particular under the President’s Office and his residence in Koncha Zaspa. The protesters believe the decision to inspect the Ukrainian positions together with the militants harms national security and Ukraine’s defence.