Donbass Militia Accuses Kiev of Illegal Deployment of Weapons, Equipment Near Conflict Zone
15:28 GMT 02.01.2022 (Updated: 20:59 GMT 19.10.2022)
Eastern Ukraine was thrust into a civil conflict in the spring of 2014, when Kiev deployed troops to crush early independence movements that sprang up in the aftermath of a western-backed coup d’état in the Ukrainian capital. In early 2015, Russia, Germany and France arranged a fragile ceasefire agreement between Kiev and the Donbass militias.
The Ukrainian military is continuing the illegal deployment of weapons and military equipment in settlements near the contact line, Lugansk People’s Republic militia spokesman Ivan Filipenko has said.
In a Sunday briefing
summarising the situation on the front, Filipenko indicated that although there have been no violations of the ceasefire reported over the past 24 hours, the Ukrainian military “has continued to deploy weapons and military equipment in settlements under Ukraine’s control,” in violation of agreements banning such weapons from settlements near the frontline.
Filipenko also reported that Ukrainian forces have deployed a mobile radio electronic warfare system to suppress the control and navigation channels used by Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe drones tasked with monitoring the situation on the ground.
Lugansk People’s Republic intelligence has also uncovered the presence of journalists from Ukraine’s Channel 5 and ICTV in the conflict zone, with the media working together with officers from the Ukrainian armed forces to “prepare staged videos meant to compromise the people’s militia,” according to Filipenko.
“The reports that are being prepared, apart from interviews with phony ‘local residents’ and Ukrainian militants, feature footage of the destruction of civilian facilities which were actually destroyed in the course of the fighting in 2014. Furthermore, the Ukrainian propagandists are tasked with lionising the personnel on the frontline to reduce the number of personnel refusing to renew their contract for further service,” the spokesman said.
Local residents in the Ukrainian army-controlled settlement of Valuyskoye previously reported on the takeover of the village school by nationalist battalions and equipment, with vehicles containing armed fighters, artillery reconnaissance, observation and target designation equipment and radio stations said to have been deployed in the area.
“Kiev’s use of a secondary school in the village of Valuyskoye to deploy the headquarters of a combat unit and a fire control point for Ukrainian artillery is a flagrant violation of the ceasefire agreement and of international humanitarian law,” Filipenko said.
7+ Year Conflict
The Lugansk People’s republic submitted more than 100 war crimes complaints to the International Criminal Court and the European Court of Human Rights in 2021 over alleged criminal actions taken by the Ukrainian security forces. Earlier, LPR official Anna Soroka estimated that the Lugansk and Donetsk Republics together filed over 3,000 claims against Kiev over suspected war crimes by the Ukrainian military.
The conflict in eastern Ukraine began in the spring of 2014, when Kiev launched a military operation to try to crush independence-seeking forces in the country’s east after the February 2014 Western-backed coup in Kiev. The war led to the deaths of up to 31,000 people, with tens of thousands more injured, and more than 2.5 million residents either externally or internally displaced.
28 December 2021, 16:50 GMT
In February 2015, the Normandy Four contact group, consisting of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France negotiated a peace agreement in the Belarusian capital of Minsk.
The agreement put a freeze on the hot phase of the conflict (although the ceasefire has occasionally been punctured by violations including shootings and artillery strikes). The peace deal’s political phase – which requires Kiev provide the Donbass with broad autonomy in exchange for the region’s peaceful reintegration with Ukraine, has not been carried through amid stiff resistance from the country’s successive governments.
9 December 2021, 18:47 GMT
In mid-2020, additional security measures were agreed to try to ensure the stability of the ceasefire, among them a complete ban on the deployment of weapons in and near populated areas, and prohibitions on any offensive, reconnaissance and sabotage operations by either side. The restrictions also forbade the use of drones.
In the spring of 2021 and again in the autumn, Donbass militias expressed fears that Kiev forces may be getting ready to try to resolve the civil conflict in the east by force. Over the past several months, Kiev and its western allies have sought to deflect from these concerns by claiming that Russia is amassing troops on the border in preparation for an invasion of Ukraine. Moscow has dismissed allegations of any invasion plans. However, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has warned
that Russia would “take all the necessary measures” to protect the hundreds of thousands of Donbass residents who have been granted Russian citizenship, at the same time that Moscow continues to make every effort “to resolve the internal Ukrainian conflict by political and diplomatic means.”