Ukraine denounces Russia’s attempts to find a reason to start the war

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Two women walk in front of a policeman at the Stanitsa Luganska border checkpoint to cross from Ukrainian territory to the territory of the self-proclaimed Republic of Lugansk. /EP

Donetsk and Lugansk decree general mobilization while intensifying the evacuation of the population to Russia

The leaders of the two rebel republics of Donbass (Donetsk and Lugansk), Denís Pushilin and Leonid Pásechnik, decreed this Saturday in their respective territories the general mobilization of the entire male population between 18 and 55 years old, arguing that the attitude of Kiev, according to what Pushilin stated, “unfortunately leads us to a war.”

Both the Ukrainian Army and the separatist forces yesterday exchanged accusations of multiplying the number of attacks on the “separation line”. Meanwhile, the leaders of the two secessionist republics claimed to be intensifying the evacuation of the population to Russia by chartering buses and private vehicles.

But in Kiev they consider that the operation organized by Russia in Donbass and in the neighboring Rostov-on-Don region, which established a state of emergency this Saturday, “seeks to find a reason to trigger the war.” Olena Shuliak, president of “Servant of the People”, the party led by the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, published an official note on his formation on his Telegram account, assuring that “Russia is trying to artificially create a pretext for a large-scale aggression scale against Ukraine.

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The statement maintains that “Ukraine is not considering the possibility of liberating the temporarily occupied territories by military means”, as the separatist republics of Donetsk, Lugansk and Crimea are called in Kiev. In Shuliak’s opinion, “the current situation observed in Donbass is a provocation by the Russian Federation” and he appeals to the inhabitants of Donbass so that “if they feel in danger due to the hysteria that the invaders are stirring up, we invite each one of you to come to the territory controlled by Ukraine, where you will find shelter and help, and, most importantly, safety.”

The Ukrainian “ombudsman”, Liudmila Denísova, deplored through Facebook that “with the evacuations panic is being spread in the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk”. In her opinion, “there are no reasons that justify such an evacuation (…) the elderly and children from orphanages and social institutions are being evacuated by force.”

For his part, the secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (SNBO) of Ukraine, Oleksiy Danilov, has assured that the frequent explosions recorded in recent hours in Lugansk and Donetsk “are the work of the Russian secret services with the aim of attributing the attacks on alleged saboteurs arriving from the Ukraine». “Thus, there would be reasons to blame Kiev for terrorist attacks and justify an armed intervention,” he assured, also warning that the possible blowing up of one of the refugee buses would also be a reason to start the war.

Facebook has been the means by which the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has addressed the inhabitants of Donbass warning of the “risk of attacks against infrastructure in Donetsk by Russian secret services”. The SBU also warns that the information from the rebels and Moscow about an imminent attack by the Ukrainian Army against Donbass “are false, they are a simple destabilization tool that does not correspond to reality”, he indicated. “Compatriots, stay calm, do not panic and do not fall for any provocation,” advise the Ukrainian secret services.

During Friday and early this Saturday there were several explosions in different parts of Donetsk and Lugansk. A vehicle exploded, a pipeline exploded, a transformer caught fire and a pumping station in the Donetsk town of Vasilevska was damaged, leaving an entire area without water supply.

Even on Russian territory, in the Rostov-on-Don region, a projectile fell this Saturday. The head of the Russian Instruction Committee (SK), Alexánder Bastrikin, has opened a criminal case, despite the fact that the deflagration did not cause victims. According to Bastrikin, the shell was fired by Ukrainian artillery and fell a kilometer from the border, next to several houses in the town of Stanitsa Mitiakínskaya.

The Ukrainian Army, however, denies it and assures that it seems to be the work of the separatist forces, which, according to a statement released on Facebook, “fire with heavy artillery against their own positions to hold Kiev responsible for the attacks and for massacring the civilians” of Donbass.

Two Ukrainian soldiers die in a bombing

The Ukrainian military authorities reported this Saturday the death of two soldiers and four more wounded by the impact of shells launched from the territories controlled by the pro-Russian independence militias in the east of the country. “As a result of the shelling, two Ukrainian soldiers have suffered injuries incompatible with life. Four soldiers were injured to varying degrees and are in medical facilities,” the Ukrainian Armed Forces Joint Operations Force explained in a statement posted on Facebook.

In addition, the Ukrainian Army indicated 70 “terrorist attacks” of which 60 were carried out with prohibited weapons under the ceasefire agreed in the Minsk Agreements, which represents a “significant increase” in attacks compared to previous days. , in which between two and five incidents were recorded. The text includes a list of the locations in which these incidents have been recorded and includes the types of projectiles used, mostly artillery shells between 120 and 152 millimeters. In addition, Kiev denounces an entry of an unmanned aerial vehicle, probably of the Orlan-10 model.

On the other hand, the Ukrainian Interior Minister, Denis Monastrirski, had to be evacuated during his visit to the Donetsk region after the impact of an artillery shell about 300 meters from his position. Monastrirski was traveling accompanied by deputies and several journalists from international media through the municipality of Novolugansk when the shell fell, according to a correspondent for Radio Liberty station, Marian Kushnir.

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