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KIEV, February 1. /TASS/. Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Igor Poplavsky has in fact confirmed that his country’s armed forces are conducting offensive operations in Donbass.
"By now, whatever may be the case, our guys have heroically moved forward, meter by meter, step by step," he told the media about the situation in Avdeyevka.
He refrained from commenting on the question about the pullback of heavy weapons from the line of engagement in Donbass, required by the Minsk Accords.
At the same time Poplavsky voiced the hope that at a meeting of Contact Group members for a settlement in Donbass later on Wednesday, due in Minsk at 16:00 a ceasefire agreement would be reached.
"I believe that after the trilateral meetings such agreements will be concluded," Pavlovsky said.
The past few days saw an upsurge in armed clashes near Avdeyevka and Yasinovataya on the line of engagement in Donbass. The authorities in Kiev have accused the militias of provoking tensions. The Defense Ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic has said, though, that Ukrainian forces launched an offensive in this area last Sunday. Last night the UN Security Council expressed deep concern over the dangerous escalation of tensions in the east of Ukraine and urged the parties to the conflict to cease fire at once.