DONETSK, November 12 (RIA Novosti) – The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) has no plans to attack Kiev forces but get ready to repel a possible assault, a deputy DPR military commander said Wednesday.
The comment came after Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak earlier on Wednesday confirmed that Kiev was pulling its troops to the southeastern territories in the event of “unforeseeable actions”.
Poltorak did not elaborate, but said reinforcements were sent over the alleged increase in the presence of “armed groups” in the breakaway regions.
Last week, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko ordered sending of reinforcements to Ukraine's southeastern cities. The move came after independence supporters in Donetsk and Luhansk People’s republics voted in presidential and parliamentary elections, rejected by Kiev as unconstitutional.
According to DPR forces, the Ukrainian government deployed tanks to the outskirts of Donetsk earlier in November. Ukrainian authorities, though, responded that pro-independence fighters had painted their military hardware in Ukrainian army colors in order to compromise Kiev.
Ukrainian government forces and independence supporters reached a ceasefire agreement on September 5 and signed a ceasefire memorandum later the same month. However, both parties have since repeatedly accused each other of violating the truce.