The situation at the contact line has taken a turn for the worse — Denis Pushilin

Unfortunately, the number of attacks is growing. It is especially on the rise when high-profile guests from the West, in particular representatives of the U.S. Embassy's Military Attaché's office, visit Ukraine. The Armed Forces of the DPR are ready for any and every eventuality, but Donbass does not want war, Head of the Donetsk People's Republic Denis Pushilin stated during his press conference on April 7, responding to a question put by a Russian RIA Novosti correspondent.

“The number of attacks doubled in the first quarter of this year,” he said.

More than 2.5 thousand shells of various calibres were fired at the territory of our Republic during the year.

The Head of the Republic said that the amount of equipment that had arrived from the Ukrainian side to the contact line (as registered in the OSCE reports) and personnel, indicates that Ukraine is now ready to resume full-scale hostilities.

“It is hard to tell whether they are aware enough of the disastrous outcome of such actions for them. The Ukrainian government is being pushed towards this by the Western countries, in some cases by the silence kept, and in some — by the phone calls made,” Denis Pushilin said.

I do believe that the hour will come when Donbass, like Crimea, returns home – Denis Pushilin

At the beginning of his press conference on Wednesday, April 7, Head of the DPR of the Republic Denis Pushilin congratulated the country's residenta on the Annunciation, noting that April 7 is a double holiday, since the Donetsk People's Republic was proclaimed on this day in 2014.

“We remember those rallies of many thousands, a large number of people who rejected the coup d'état that had taken place in Kiev. The people who did not want to come to terms with that savage Russophobia proclaimed by the new Kiev government.

Posters with inscriptions that we remember very well flash before our eyes: "Donbass – Russia", "Crimea – Donbass – Russia", "Fascism will not pass", "Referendum!"...

Of course, we could not reconcile ourselves and became a certain barrier from Russophobia, neo-Nazism, from the extermination of our Russian fellow citizens. The new government in Kiev lost interest in them.

But the most important thing is that Russia has always been there for us. Today Russia's support has already taken on another dimension. I do believe that the hour will come when Donbass, like Crimea, will return home,” Denis Pushilin said in his welcoming speech.

While the whole world calls for the implementation of peace agreements, Kiev strives for a force scenario – Natalia Nikonorova

Amid a threatening escalation along the contact line, the Ukrainian president once again appeals for help from his Western patrons, DPR Plenipotentiary and Foreign Minister Natalia Nikonorova commented on the situation.

"Obviously, he decided to repeat all the mistakes of the previous Ukrainian leader and look for a solution to the conflict anywhere, if only not in the Minsk agreements and not in dialogue with the Republics of Donbass.

At the same time, the Package of Measures was approved by the UN Security Council and is the only mechanism for a peaceful settlement. But while the entire civilized world talks about the lack of alternative to the Minsk agreements and calls for their implementation, Kiev makes statements about achieving peace through joining a military alliance - an oxymoron, which the Ukrainian leader seriously broadcasts into the media space. Such calls cast doubt on Ukraine's already extremely battered reputation as a negotiating partner.

It is obvious that such statements by the President of Ukraine, coupled with the cynical shelling of our territory by Ukrainian armed formations and the further tension growth on the contact line, directly indicate that Kiev, in the hope of evading its obligations under the Package of Measures, tries by all in possible ways to provoke the Republics to the implementation of the power scenario and the transfer of the conflict into a hot phase. However, the Ukrainian leadership should remember that we can fully respond to any provocation. However, for now, we remain committed to the Minsk Agreements and call on Kiev to demonstrate the same commitment - in practice, within the Minsk platform and on the ground, and not in bizarre and absurd statements to the media," Natalia Nikonorova said.


Defenders of the Republic prevented a breakthrough attempt by a Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance group

The DPR People's Militia regularly registers the AFU's engineering reconnaissance of the front-line, attempted UAVs' flights and activities of sabotage and reconnaissance groups, Spokesman for the DPR People's Miltia Colonel Eduard Basurin stated.

“On April 4, the enemy once again attempted reconnaissance of mine-fields in front of our positions near Shumy.

Our defenders had to use standard weapons not prohibited by the Minsk agreements. In the course of the fleeting battle, the AFU servicemen retreated to their positions.

While examining the minefield, our military engineers found the body of an AFU soldier. He was identified as private soldier Baitala Igor Nikolayevich, born in 1995. At the same time, the JFO Command has been concealing the death of their serviceman for the second day and are not making any efforts to return the body to the relatives,” Eduard Basurin said.

The Colonel also noted that the DPR People's Militia untis of the DPR are ready for any changes in the situation and scenarios of the enemy's actions.

On Saturday of April 3, on air of Soloviev LIVE, Head of the Donetsk People's Republic Denis Pushilin stated that a five-year-old child had died that day as a result of the detonation of an unidentified explosive object, but official information will be available in follow-up to the work of law enforcement agencies, the press office of the Head of State reports.

“Once we have all the official information, we will definitely give it to the public. Now we can say that the child died. The child is no longer alive. The child was born and died during the war, he simply did not see a different life. He was five years old..." Denis Pushilin said.

The Head of State stressed that the situation in the Republic remains extremely alarming.

"The escalation is obvious: the number of attacks, the number of shells fired... Only in the last two days, the Republic was targeted by about 50 shells of 120mm calibre," Denis Pushilin specified.

In response to a comment by Vladimir Soloviov who said that the 120mm calibre is prohibited by the Minsk Agreements, the DPR Head replied that Ukraine holds nothing sacred and the AFU resort to the warfare methods prohibited by any conventions.

“Can we say that shells of a smaller calibre are not prohibited? They kill people, kill children. And I don't know which words it would be right to say in this case. We have been living in such a state for seven years: sometime more peaceful, sometime more escalated. But there was no period when we would say that a ceasefire has become effective. In fact, there has never been any ceasefire. There were periods when they would do a little less shooting. There were periods when it was impossible to open fire, but they used sabotage groups. When we closed the border with Ukraine, making it difficult for sabotage groups to infiltrate into our territory, information warfare methods were used, which is also extremely dangerous in the current situation.

Now there is an escalation. They resort to everything and hold nothing sacred. They use unmanned aerial vehicles, shells, mortars, use the warfare methods prohibited by any conventions. They hide their equipment in residential quarters – all of this has been documented. We are not brutals unlike them. We do not shoot, and we will not shoot at residential quarters where their equipment is hidden. But shells are fired from over there and take human lives. It is not ten people that have died, but tens, thousands of crippled lives of the families who have lost their loved ones. These are children who were born during the war and have already died during the war. They have not seen a different life. This is what we are dealing with these days.
We are, I'm afraid,” Denis Pushilin said.

Our position is honest and open, but Ukraine regularly distorts and violates all agreements – Natalia Nikonorova

The Ukrainian delegation head in Minsk proposes to agree on a kind of “Easter truce.” DPR Plenipotentiary and Foreign Minister Natalia Nikonorova commented on that statement.

"Maybe Mr. Kravchuk is not aware (at that time he was not in the negotiation process), but on July 17, 2019, representatives of Ukraine and the Republics agreed on an indefinite truce, which entered into force on July 22, 2019. But Leonid Makarovich should definitely remember the entry into force of measures to strengthen the ceasefire, since his predecessor Leonid Kuchma signed this agreement on July 22, 2020, just before Kravchuk took over as chief negotiator.

Thus, 8 months ago, the parameters and measures necessary to ensure a real truce on the ground were spelled out and agreed upon. It is just necessary to follow them. Accordingly, by appeals to agree on some new truces, the Ukrainian representatives directly confirm that they do not comply with the agreement reached 8 months ago. Moreover, they are trying to roll back the negotiation process at a time when the truce was concluded for some holidays and other dates and were of a temporary nature, which, by the way, even contradicted paragraph 1 of the Package of Measures.

By agreeing an indefinite ceasefire in July 2019 and signing additional measures to strengthen it in July 2020, this contradiction was eliminated. Now Mr. Kravchuk offers to return it," Nikonorova noted.

She stressed that the Republics observe the ceasefire and measures to strengthen it. The corresponding orders were not only issued, but even published.

"Our position is honest and open. But Ukraine regularly distorts and violates all agreements on this matter, and even develops self-promotion in the media on the topic of another truce conclusion.

Instead of this desire for hype, it would be much more useful and appropriate for Kiev to do real work on the Minsk site and simply comply with the agreements already reached and signed," the MFA Chief added.



The outcomes of the Contact Group meeting

DPR Plenipotentiary and Foreign Minister Natalia Nikonorova summarized the outcomes of the Contact Group meeting on security, political and humanitarian issues, which took place on March 31.

“Mr. Kravchuk called on the participants to agree on a certain formulation, which should supposedly reaffirm the parties' commitment to Measures to strengthen the ceasefire from a certain date and time. Ukraine should finally bring in line the publication on the Ministry of Defense website, which underwent strange metamorphoses, in particular, it was repeatedly deleted and another version appeared.

The next and key step should be the holding by the Ukrainian party of the proceedings on the murder of an elderly civilian from Aleksandrovka by the AFU sniper, as stipulated in the paragraph 4 of the Measures, and sending an appropriate notification to the coordinator Ms. Grau about the proceedings results and the application of disciplinary sanctions to everyone involved in this war crime,” Natalia Nikonorova commented on the course of the Contact Group meeting on security issues.

During the meeting of the Contact Group on political issues, the Ukrainian side again used the tactic of dragging out the negotiations by suggesting strange, unreasonable initiatives.

“We heard the announcement of the Ukrainian delegation head that he had made a decision to appoint a certain adviser for “consultations with Donbass representatives”. At the same time, Mr. Kravchuk was unable to answer any of our logical questions after such an announcement: what will be the powers of this advisor, what functions will he have, for what tasks it is proposed to carry out our interaction with this advisor?

The head of the Ukrainian delegation tried to explain his idea by the fact that the Package of Measures contains the words “consultations with representatives of CADLR”. However, we reminded him that in this document the word “consultations” is invariably accompanied by the word “coordination”. Moreover, within the framework of the Contact Group. Thus, if Ukraine introduces an adviser on “consultations”, then he should also have the authority to sign the agreements reached at the negotiations, and not with some unknown persons elected by Kiev, but with real representatives of Donbass," the DPR Plenipotentiary said.

Natalia Nikonorova called on the mediators of negotiations to pay close attention to Ukraine’s manipulations: its representatives make deliberately every effort to nullify the existing format and meaning of the Contact Group by squeezing the Republics out of the negotiations.

"All the initiatives of Kiev and the behavior of the Ukrainian negotiators at the Minsk platform are aimed exclusively at aggravating the existing stagnation in the Contact Group work, which is presented under the guise of fulfilling the Minsk agreements," the MFA Chief noted.

Unfortunately, the discussion on humanitarian issues within the framework of negotiations did not lead to positive results.

“From session to session, we ask the Ukrainian party the same questions, but Kiev has not bothered to answer them. We systematically ask, firstly, when the procedural “clearing” of those 50 persons who were released in the exchange process, but who are still under criminal prosecution in Ukraine, will be completed. We know that for a month now, papers on the implementation of this “clearing” have been lying on the table of the Ukraine’s President. Only one signature separates us from real progress in this direction, all preparatory work has already been completed. It perfectly illustrates who exactly opposes the exemption from criminal prosecution of these citizens and does not seek to fulfill the obligations of Ukraine.

And, secondly, when the Ukrainian authorities begin to pass humanitarian supplies through the Elenovka-Novotroitskoe checkpoint, or at least when they explain to us why Kiev considers it safe to pass people through this checkpoint, and the goods unsafe.

Nevertheless, from time to time these issues are openly ignored by the Ukrainian negotiators without any explanation,” Natalia Nikonorova said.

The next meeting of the Contact Group to settle the conflict in Donbass is to take place on April 14.

Source 1, 2, 3

On March 30, Head of the Donetsk People's Republic and Supreme Commander Denis Pushilin visited one of the military training grounds and inspected complex combat training exercises held by the DPR People's Militia units, the press office of the Administration of the Head of the DPR reports.

Preceding the training, Colonel Yaroslav Anika, the Chief of Staff of the 5th separate Oplot squad, reported to the Head of the Republic about the training combat missions plan that the units would have to perform.

During the training, the tank crews practiced driving and firing exercises. The artillerymen honed their live-firing skills from various firing positions. Motorized rifle units trained in repelling an attack and launching a counter-offensive.

While at the training ground, Denis Pushilin visited a training site for the preparation of air defense crews, where he completed a firing exercise, shooting at air targets with small arms. In addition, the Supreme Commander examined the equipment of the mobile company, formed this year based on the experience of the Karabakh conflict, and visited training place for artillery fire control.

At the military shooting range, where the servicemen practice verification fire exercises with small arms, Denis Pushilin perfectly well completed an exercise of shooting with an SVD sniper rifle. The visit to the integrated training was concluded by the inspection of the tank crews training at a tankodrome.

At the end of the target-firing exercises and maneuvers, the Head of State emphasized the high professional training level of personnel and commanders, as well as the readiness of the DPR People's Militia to perform missions of any complexity.

“These days, we hold exercises regularly, taking into account the threats that Ukraine's aggression entails. Our units are combat ready on a permanent basis.

With regard to these exercises, I would say that the rating level is close to excellent. There is still some work to be done, but it is absolutely safe to say that our military are ready for any and every eventuality,” Denis Pushilin said.

A total of about 500 servicemen took part in the combat training exercises.

Ukraine has benefits from the complete blockade of Donbass – Daria Morozova

The meeting of the humanitarian group ended with zero result. The responsibility for this lies with the Ukrainian side, whose negotiators disrupted the discussion of all issues on the agenda. Moreover, they did it on a provocative manner with the clear intention, DPR Commissioner for Human Rights Daria Morozova stated.

"Ukraine showed particular non-diplomatic approach when discussing the topic of an exchange of detained persons. It should be reminded that in order to make progress on this issue, the Ukrainian side must fully fulfill its obligations on the procedural “cleansing” of 50 citizens transferred to the DPR in 2019-2020. Today we expected that Kiev will finally provide information on the work, which it has done in this direction. However, unfortunately, no data was announced, and the Ukrainian negotiators demonstratively avoided answering questions on the topic.

I emphasize that such a position of the Ukrainian side can only be regarded as a deliberate sabotage of the further exchange process. Another fact that Kiev is not interested in resuming a constructive dialogue is evidenced by another fact, namely, this year the Ukrainian side did not even give us its list of wanted persons. It turns out that Ukraine is either not looking for anyone in the DPR, or creating new political intrigues, playing with the fate of its own citizens.

There was no constructiveness even when discussing the peculiarities of the operation of checkpoints. The representatives of Ukraine could not clearly explain why Kiev has been blocking the delivery of humanitarian supplies to the DPR through the “Novotroitskoye-Elenovka” checkpoint for more than a month. It should be reminded that earlier the Ukrainian side motivated its actions by problems with security in the area of ​​the village of Elenovka. However, Ukraine does not interfere with the passing of the civilian population through the indicated checkpoint. Negotiators were also unable to comment on why Kiev considers this territory to be dangerous for humanitarian convoys, but safe for people.

After today’s round of negotiations, there is no doubt that Ukraine has benefits from the complete blockade of Donbass. And the Ukrainian authorities are trying to use the humanitarian problems of the local population as a tool to satisfy unhealthy political ambitions.

Since the Ukrainian side blocked the consideration of key issues of the humanitarian block of the working group, the OSCE coordinator announced the decision to bring the discussion on them to the level of the Contact Group," Daria Morozova stated.


Kiev sabotages the ceasefire agreements — Natalia Nikonorova

The Ukrainian party continues to sabotage its commitments undertaken in accordance with the measures signed on July 22, 2020 to strengthen the ceasefire, DPR Plenipotentiary and Foreign Affairs Minister Natalia Nikonorova stated.

"This sabotage consists not only in the intensified escalation on the line of contact, in the shelling of our territory, as a result of which civilians are killed and injured, house building and infrastructure are damaged. We got shocked that Kiev tries to distort and sabotage the agreements reached even in the most elementary and easy issues.

This is exactly the situation of such a basic and simple step as the publishing of agreements signed not only by representatives of Donbass and Ukraine, but also endorsed by the mediators of OSCE and the Russian Federation. The Ukrainian authorities even initially could not go without distorting this procedure, the need for which, moreover, was enshrined in the measures themselves: on July 27, 2020, when these agreements were to come into force, a wrong list of measures was published on the website of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine (one of the measures was deleted, and the other two were in the wrong edition).

It was not the end of the story with the publication of unreliable information: on March 19 of this year, the list of measures was completely removed from the website of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense. And on March 27 it was published again, but this time in an even more twisted version: two measures were deleted, and the content of another one was published incorrectly. Thus, the Ministry of Defense removed from the list of measures a ban on offensive and reconnaissance-sabotage actions, as well as a ban on the use of any aircraft. In addition, it decided to abandon the creation and use of a coordination mechanism to respond to violations of the ceasefire with the JCCC assistance in its current composition. Namely, even from this unilateral refusal to publish these measures, it can be concluded that Ukraine is not going to fulfill the agreements in their current form, although these two measures are among the fundamental.

At the same time, both on the website of the DPR People's Militia Department and on the OSCE website, the list of these measures was published exactly in the edition in which these agreements were signed, and has not changed in any way since that time. Moreover, in addition to a list of measures a no-fire order was also published on the website of the DPR People's Police Department.

We strongly recommend that the representatives of Kiev stop wasting time on senseless attempts to distort and rewrite the essence and content of the agreements signed at the Minsk platform, but instead, devote time to their immediate implementation," Nikonorova said.

The list of Measures to enhance the ceasefire signed on July 22, 2020.