Too early to talk about freezing of conflict in Donbas - Defense minister
Shelling and combat clashes are currently recorded in the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) zone in Donbas, so it is too early to talk about the freezing of the conflict, Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak has said.
"It's impossible to say that the conflict is frozen when, this year alone, our positions and populated localities came under fire 14,000 times, and 400 civilians were killed. It is in its active phase. Cases of shelling and combat clashes are recorded," he said in an interview with the Interfax-Ukraine news agency and the 1+1 television channel.
Poltorak said that Kyiv was actively working on strengthening the army and increasing its combat capability.
"Today we have enough forces and resources in the ATO zone, enough forces in training centers and shooting grounds, where they are trained, combat coordination, in order to respond to threats not only from the direction of the ATO," he said.
He also said that "new units and formations in dangerous directions have already been formed".
"Everything that is connected with Russia is a dangerous direction, starting with Transdniestria, Crimea and the east of Ukraine, where the infrastructure of the Russian forces is being formed, and new units are being created. We regard our neighbors in the West - Hungary, Poland – we regard them as partners who help us conduct reform," the minister said.