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MOSCOW, December 18. /TASS/. Ukraine should withdraw its troops from the seven villages seized on December 4 to stabilize the situation in Donbas, Russia’s Permanent Representative at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Alexander Lukashevich said on Friday.
"On December 4, the Ukrainian military seized seven settlements controlled by neither of the parties in the buffer zone," he said at a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council. "It has led to aggravated clashes and mutual shelling. A punitive operation was held in one of the settlements — Krasnogorovka — where the Ukrainian military arrested 85 local residents on charges of sympathizing with Donbas militias, and this fact was confirmed by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission."
The Russian diplomat stressed that such measures were only exasperating the local population and could never promote the region’s reintegration into the rest of Ukraine. "To stabilize the situation, it is vital to have these settlement liberated from Ukrainian troops," he said.