VIENNA, November 13. /TASS/. Ukraine’s army is pulling military hardware, including artillery and tanks, closer to Donbass (eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions), Russia’s Permanent Representative at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Andrey Kelin said on Thursday after a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council.
Kelin said the Russian side had presented “facts that prove concentration of military hardware (on borders with Donetsk and Luhansk regions)."
“Over the past few days, from November 6 to November 9, we have information about seven cases when army vehicles were pulled to Donbass,” he said, adding these vehicles included tanks, anti-aircraft self-propelled artillery systems Shilka, short-range ballistic missile systems Tochka-U, and multiple launch rocket systems Grad and Smerch.
“What is to be expected from the local self-defense forces? They are reinforcing their positions, since they expect an attack,” he said.
Ukraine has promised not to launch a massive offensive against Donbass, Kelin told TASS on Thursday. “I put that question straight to Ukraine’s representative (at OSCE). I asked him to say honestly whether a massive attack against Donbass can be expected soon. He thought for while and then said that no attack on Donbass was being planned. He gave me his word,” the Russian diplomat said.
The US and the EU have no proof that Russian hardware crossed the border with Ukraine, the diplomat stressed. “We know they have the data that Russia is pulling hardware closer to the border. But there is no data that it crossed the border and was on the territory of Donbass,” he said.
“We asked to present facts (that prove the allegations) and submit them, if they exist, at the Security Cooperation Forum session. They replied nothing. They refused,” Kelin said.