KIEV, August 11. /TASS/. Pro-Kiev forces engaged in combat operations in the war-torn Donbass area reserve the right to open retaliatory artillery fire if their positions come under attacks on the part of the Donbass self-defence forces, Vladislav Seleznyov, the chief of the press service of the Ukrainian Armed Forces General Staff told Ukrainskaya Pravda news portal.
"Kiev complied with the procedures and informed the Special Monitoring Mission of the OSCE, the Kiev office of the OSCE and Western partners" on what it claimed to be continuous encroachments on the Minsk accords by the self-defence forces of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic.
"That’s why we reserve the right to use artillery in case of attacks on our positions," Seleznyov said.
He claimed that the self-defence units were shelling the areas adjoining the townships of Starogantovka and Chermalyk from 120 mm mortars and 152 mm self-propelled artillery mounts.
The spokesman for the Defence Ministry of the Donetsk republic, Eduard Basurin, said on Monday the pro-Kiev units made an attempt in the morning of August 10 to break through the self-defence forces’ defence lines in the vicinity of Starognatovka near the port city of Mariupol.
Basurin said along with it the attack was preceded by two-hours-long preparatory bombardment from large-caliber weapons, Grad missile-launchers, tanks and mortars.
He particularly stressed the treacherous character of the attack, as the Ukrainian authorities were perfectly aware of the fact the self-defence units had pulled back their weapons with the caliber of up to 100 mm away from the Line of Contact between the opposing sides in Donbass.
The self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics unilaterally withdrew all the weapons with the caliber of less than 100 mm back in the middle of July. They left armaments at combat positions only in the hotbeds of tensions, which the pro-Kiev units subjected to artillery fire most frequently.