On 31 January 2021, the Russian occupation forces used the Grad-P portable rocket system to shell the positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine near the town of Avdiivka in the Donetsk region.

The Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the International Organisations in Vienna announced this fact during a meeting of the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation, noting that it is a gross violation of the ceasefire.

“Such actions reflect further disregard and violation by Russia and its forces in Donbas of the TCG decision of 22 July 2020 that prohibits shelling, including with the use of sniper fire, and the Minsk agreements stipulating the withdrawal of heavy weapons on equal distances in order to establish a security zone of 50km at minimum between the sides for the artillery systems of 100mm and those of a higher calibre,” Deputy Permanent Representative of Ukraine to International Organisations in Vienna Ihor Lossovsky said.

The Ukrainian side demonstrated to foreign diplomats photo evidence obtained from the explosion site and a tail assembly fragment of a 122mm missile.

In addition, the representatives of Ukraine informed that between 25 January and 31 January, the armed formations of the Russian Federation violated the ceasefire 44 times, firing at the positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine from various weapons, including mortars and sniper rifles.

“As a result of these armed provocations, six Ukrainian servicemen were wounded in action,” Lossovsky said.

As a reminder, according to Ukrainian media outlets, three servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine – Oleh Andriyenko, Oleksandr Otrepyev and Roman Dziubenko – were killed on the contact line in January this year. Two of them were killed by snipers.

Bohdan Marusyak

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