UN, February 21. /TASS/. The policy of Western countries that prefer to ignore the shelling of Donbass by Ukrainian troops may push Kiev to a full-scale offensive, Dmitry Polyansky, First Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN said on Sunday.
"Given the fact that our Western colleagues are trying to put a blind eye to what is happening in the east [of Ukraine], they are from the outset denying that Ukraine is shelling these territories and claiming that everything which is happening there would be the result of Russian provocation, of course with such an emboldening it is very risky and is very possible that some people in Ukraine would have the temptation of provoking the rebels, provoking these territories," he said in an interview with the Mother of All Talkshows YouTube-channel.
"So, if our French colleagues can influence the minds of Ukrainian establishment to convince them that they should stick to the Minsk agreements and they should not open fire at peaceful population in Donbass that could be only welcome," the diplomat added.
The situation along the contact line in eastern Ukraine took a turn for the worse in the morning of February 17. The self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics report the most massive shelling by the Ukrainian military over the past months. There have been no reports of deaths, but one civilian woman was wounded and the shelling damaged some civilian facilities. Amid the mounting threat of combat actions, the self-proclaimed republics on Friday announced the evacuation of civilians to Russia. On Saturday, the Donbass republics announced general mobilization.