Ukrainian General Staff refutes alleged offensive in Debaltseve
The Ukrainian Armed Forces General Staff has refuted reports of an attempted breakthrough in the Debaltseve area in the Donetsk region by use of heavy armaments.
"What they say about Debaltseve is absurd. We are constantly declaring our strict compliance with the Minsk agreements and then our alleged offensive is reported out of the blue. This information is wrong, it is one of the hysterical information breakdowns exhibited by representatives of the so-called DPR/LPR in recent days," General Staff spokesman Vladyslav Selezniov told Interfax.
He claimed numerous provocations staged by the self-proclaimed republics' militias.
"Over the past day they opened provocative fire on our positions 51 times and conducted precision fire on our positions four times. ATO forces are responding adequately to neutralize firing positions of the enemy. We are using political and military resources to stop the provocations," the General Staff spokesman said.
Political instruments include contacts with the OSCE SMM, and the Staff informs Russia about violations of the Minsk agreements by militiamen via the Joint Center for Control and Coordination.
"As for the military aspect, the first line of defense possesses sufficient means and forces that we use in case of precision fire of militants on our positions. Yet we are not using weapons which have been withdrawn from the contact line consistent with the Minsk agreements – rocket launchers, artillery and weapons with calibers under 100mm – to deter the aggression of the hostiles," Selezniov said.
Debaltseve Mayor Oleksiy Hranovsky said earlier on Tuesday that the Ukrainian army had tried to break through near the city in the morning and even used "heavy and small arms," a number of media outlets reported.