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    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko centre, Chairman of Senate Armed Services Committee, US Senator John McCain, centre left, US Senator Lindsey Graham, centre right, and US Senator Amy Klobuchar pose for photo with the Ukrainian marines, during their working trip to the Donetsk region to congratulate Ukrainian servicemen on the upcoming New Year, in the village Shyrokine, eastern Ukraine, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2016

    Western Military Aid Pushes Kiev to Continue Donbass War - Russian Gen. Staff

    © AP Photo / Mikhail Palinchak/Presidential Press Service
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    Western military assistance to the Ukrainian government provokes Kiev to continue the conflict in Donbass, Russian Chief of General Staff Gen. Valery Gerasimov said Wednesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Speaking at the VI Moscow Conference on International Security, he noted that the Donbas conflict's settlement "is possible only by political means."

    "However, European countries are providing military assistance to the Kiev regime, thereby provoking it to continue the war," Gerasimov said.

    The Donbass conflict erupted in April 2014 as a local counter-reaction to the West-sponsored Maidan coup in Kiev that had toppled President Viktor Yanukovych in February. Residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions held independence referendums and proclaimed the People's Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. Kiev has since been conducting a military operation, encountering stiff local resistance.

    In February 2015, Kiev forces and Donbass independence supporters signed a peace agreement in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. The deal stipulates a full ceasefire, weapons withdrawal from the line of contact in Donbass, as well as constitutional reforms that would give a special status to the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics. Despite the agreement brokered by the Normandy Four states (Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine), the ceasefire regime is regularly violated, with both sides accusing each other of multiple breaches, undermining the terms of the accord.


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    Ukrainian crisis, Russian General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, Ukraine, Donbass, Russia
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