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KIEV, November 14 /TASS/. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said the crisis in Ukraine’s Donbass region can be solved exclusively by peaceful means. The text of Poroshenko’s statement has been published on the Ukrainian president’s website.
“We believe that the problem of separate districts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions can be solved exclusively in a political and peaceful way. But we have the forces and the means to protect our state today,” Poroshenko said at a meeting with security and law enforcement chiefs on Friday.
The Ukrainian armed forces, however, are ready to give a rebuff if the situation starts unfolding contrary to the peace plan, Poroshenko’s press service reports.
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.