Kiev’s forces are increasingly launching offensives in war-torn Donbass, attempting to use Western firepower to bring the two breakaway self-declared separatist republics to heel with military force, Moscow has blasted.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that the situation in the east of the neighboring nation is a cause for concern.
“The hot heads in the Kiev regime, apparently with a feeling of complete impunity, are in favor of a military solution to this internal Ukrainian crisis,” she said, arguing that the conflict is being used to distract from the country’s domestic political crises.
“The situation in the conflict zone is escalating. More and more information is coming up about the use of weapons banned by the Minsk agreements, supplied to Ukraine by NATO nations.” She added that international observers dispatched on behalf of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe had noted an increase in offensive actions from Kiev’s forces in parts of the region.
Tensions in the east of Ukraine have spiked sharply in recent weeks, with the head of Ukraine’s military intelligence directorate, Kirill Budanov, revealing that the country had trialled and deployed US-made Javelin anti-tank missiles.
Reacting to the news, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that “in recent weeks, we have seen a stream of consciousness from the Ukrainian leadership – especially when it comes to the military – that is excessively inflamed and dangerous.”
Earlier this month, Russia’s ambassador to the US warned Washington that providing lethal arms to Ukraine could destroy any hopes for peace in the Donbass. In a statement, Anatoly Antonov said that “plans to supply weapons to the regime in Kiev will only worsen the situation in southeastern Ukraine. We believe that another opportunity to encourage Kiev to stop the war has been missed.”
Kiev’s forces have been fighting troops loyal to the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics since the two regions declared their autonomy after the 2014 Maidan. Under President Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian government has rejected Russian calls to negotiate directly with the separatists, accusing Moscow of being behind the civil conflict.
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