In 2020, 50 Ukrainian servicepersons were killed and 339 were wounded on the contact line in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions as a result of Russian aggression, Deputy Permanent Representative of Ukraine to International Organisations in Vienna Ihor Lossovsky said at a meeting of the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation.
“In 2020, Russia’s aggressive actions in Donbas claimed the lives of 50 Ukrainian defenders, and another 339 were wounded,” the diplomat said.
According to him, two soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine have been killed and three more have been wounded as a result of armed provocations carried out by pro-Russian formations in the occupied territories of Donbas since the beginning of this year.
Lossovsky stressed that the militants carried out 123 armed provocations, using grenade launchers, heavy machine guns, small arms, sniper’s weapons and mortars, between 1 January and 24 January 2021.
Earlier, the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine reported that a total of 2,665 servicepersons of the Armed Forces of Ukraine had been killed and 10,152 had been wounded in the course of the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) and then the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) against Russian hybrid troops in Donbas since 2014. According to the Ministry, the number of “other casualties (death)” in the Armed Forces of Ukraine is 1,168 people.
Meanwhile, the Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine stated in its White Paper that the Kremlin is now realising a scenario of ‘controlled chaos’ in Ukraine and is seeking to create the necessary conditions for early parliamentary elections, while the local elections in the autumn of 2020 were only a preliminary stage.
The document also notes that the key threat posed by the Russian Federation is the implementation of the scenario of systemic destabilisation of the internal situation in Ukraine. According to Moscow’s plan, this should lay the foundations for revenge by pro-Russian forces, which by that time will already have a clearly formed political vertical, capable of taking control of the legislative and executive branches of government.
“Moscow relied on the implementation in Ukraine of the scenario of ‘controlled chaos that clears the way for revenge.’ The main preconditions for its implementation are internal strife, weakness of state institutions, and loss of support from the West,” the report reads.