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    Donetsk on the eve of elections

    State Department Slams Announcement of Donbass Elections Slated for November 11

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The United States is condemning the elections in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) scheduled for November 11, US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said Wednesday.

    “The United States condemns the announcement of a plan to conduct ‘elections’ in the so-called ‘Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics.’  Given the continued control of these territories by the Russian Federation, genuine elections are inconceivable, and grossly contravene Russia’s commitments under the Minsk agreements. By engineering phony procedures, Russia is once more demonstrating its disregard for international norms and is undermining efforts to achieve peace in eastern Ukraine. The so-called ‘people’s republics’ that Russia created have no place within the Ukrainian constitutional order,” Nauert said.

    She pointed out that the United States remained fully committed to diplomatic efforts aimed at resolving the conflict in eastern Ukraine. “US support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity remains unwavering,” Nauert added.

    The conflict in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbass started in 2014, when Ukrainian authorities launched a military operation against the DPR and LPR that refused to recognize the new government in Kiev, which came to power after what they considered to be a coup. In February 2015, the warring parties signed the Minsk peace accords to end the fighting in the region, but the situation remained tense, with both parties accusing each other of ceasefire violations.

    READ MORE: Ukraine Civil War's Ugly Scars: Kiev's Soldiers Kill Each Other in Donbass

    Last week, the DPR Operational Command's deputy chief Eduard Basurin called on Kiev to to give up attempts to exacerbate the conflict. According to the official, the Ukrainian forces have deployed about 100 pieces of heavy weaponry near Kiev-controlled Novosilka settlement in Donbas, including 18 units of Grad and 12 units of Uragan multiple rocket launcher systems.

    The DPR comand has said that Ukraine had already deployed over 12,000 troops to launch an offensive against the DPR forces in the direction of the city of Mariupol following the assassination of the republic's leader, Alexander Zakharchenko. According to the command, the offensive is scheduled for September 14.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that the Western countries were responsible for the 2014 overthrown of then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, which triggered the military conflict in the country.

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    Tags:
    conflict, criticism, elections, Minsk agreement, U.S. Department of State, Donbass, Ukraine, United States
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