: :inin Kyiv (EET)

Russian forces, Russian personnel, are working together with the separatists in Eastern Ukraine – US State Department


Jeff Rathke, the US State Department acting deputy spokesperson on the Daily Press Briefing on April 27, 2015, talked on the deteriorating situation in Shyrokyne and the Russian presence in Eastern Ukraine.

 

The US State Department acting deputy spokesperson admits that they are deeply concerned that Russia-backed terrorists increase shelling at Shyrokyne :

“We are deeply concerned by the deteriorating situation in Shyrokyne, where – which is near Mariupol – where the OSCE special monitoring mission reported on April 26th that monitors observed the most intense shelling since fighting began in the area in mid-February – mid-February of this year, that is. Russia-backed separatists continue to shell Ukrainian forces and refuse the OSCE mission unfettered access. These are clear violations of the ceasefire and the Minsk agreements that they signed. And as the OSCE has made clear, access for the monitoring mission is not subject to negotiations; it is the mission’s duty and their task.”

Jeff Rathke reports that pro-Russian terrorists violate Minsk agreements and increase a number of artillery pieces and multiple rocket launchers. Also Russia-backed terrorists nowadays have the highest amount of Russian air defense equipment in eastern Ukraine since August 2014:

“At the same time, Russian and separatist forces maintain a sizable number of artillery pieces and multiple rocket launchers within areas prohibited under the Minsk accords. Also, the Russian military has deployed additional air defense systems into eastern Ukraine and moved several of these nearer the front lines. This is the highest amount of Russian air defense equipment in eastern Ukraine since August. Russia is also once again building up its forces along its border with Ukraine. The United States has been clear that the Minsk agreements remain the best chance for a lasting and comprehensive solution to the crisis in eastern Ukraine, and we call again on Russia and the separatists it backs to implement their commitments under the agreements.”

Jeff Rathke says that the Russia-backed separatists are working together with Russian forces, Russian personnel, and continue to fire on Ukrainian forces:

“if we just look at the situation near Shyrokyne, which is near Mariupol – in other words, it is well outside – well beyond the ceasefire line – the Russia-backed separatists continue to fire on Ukrainian Government forces and that’s a clear violation of the Minsk agreements. And I think we’ve spoken separately last week about the ways in which Russian forces, Russian personnel, are working together with the separatists in eastern Ukraine. So I think that the situation there is pretty clear.”

Talking about the sanctions against the Russian Federation, the US State Department acting deputy spokesperson underlined that “there’s no way the sanctions can be rolled back unless Russia and the separatists live up to their Minsk commitments”:

“The sanctions, of course, are connected to the presence in eastern Ukraine of the separatists and the Russian – and their Russian backers. I don’t have new sanctions announcements to make. But of course, the sanctions are linked to implementation of Minsk, and there’s no way the sanctions can be rolled back unless Russia and the separatists live up to their Minsk commitments.”

Russia supports terrorists in Easter Ukraine by training the separatist forces, and there is the Russian command and control presence and equipment in Eastern Ukraine:

“we see the Russian presence in eastern Ukraine has been part of increasingly complex training of separatist forces. This training also incorporates, for example, Russian UAVs, which is also a clear sign of Russia’s presence. And so we see increasingly the Russian and separatist forces – oh, sorry, the Russian command and control presence and equipment in eastern Ukraine also is why we’ve described it as combined Russian and separatist forces.”

“Russian support to the separatists is essential to their – to the military activity they’ve been able to carry out. We’ve seen that throughout the conflict. So again, I don’t have data at my fingertips with regard to the makeup of the forces who are shelling Ukrainian positions well outside the ceasefire lines. We’ll look to see if we can get that, but I think the overall – in the overall situation, it’s quite clear that Russia’s support is essential.”

UaPositon

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