Turchynov declares escalation of tensions in Donbas conflict zone
The number of attacks on Ukrainian army positions and Donbas populated localities seen over the past week was the biggest in the past six months, Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov said while visiting Ukrainian positions in the zone of operation of the Joint Forces.
"Artillery weapons, tanks, and rocket launchers prohibited by the Minsk Agreements are being used," the NSDC press service quoted Turchynov as saying.
Ukrainian territory was shelled up to 30 kilometers deep, which inflicted damage on civilian infrastructure and caused military and civilian casualties, Turchynov said.
The press service explained the visit with the exacerbating situation in eastern Ukraine. Turchynov met with military commanders and security officials to discuss ways of maintaining combat efficiency in the shift from the anti-terrorist operation to the operation of the Joint Forces.
Turchynov also visited positions of the 24th separate mechanized infantry brigade named after Danylo Halytsky near the DPR-held Horlivka, where most attacks were seen lately.
While visiting the epicenter of hostilities near Zaitseve and Pivdenne taken over by the Ukrainian army, Turchynov said that despite the ongoing provocations of the enemy the Ukrainian forces "managed to maintain defense and significantly improved their positions to minimize military and civilian casualties."
"The operation of the Joint Forces started [on May 1, 2018] markedly improved coordination between the military and the National Guard, the National Police, the Ukrainian Security Service, and border guards, which heightened the efficiency of the combat potential being used to defend our country from the Russian aggression in the east," Turchynov said.