DONETSK, February 22. /TASS/. The intelligence service of the People’s Militia of the Donetsk People’s Republic has information about deployment of Ukrainian military units that are armed with S-300 and Buk-M1 systems in the area of the Kiev, Kharkov and Cherkassy airports, therefore they don’t rule out provocations with passenger aircraft, Deputy Head of the People’s Militia in the Donetsk People’s Republic Eduard Basurin said on Tuesday.
"Our intelligence is registering the movement of motorcades of Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile regiments, which are armed with S-300 and Buk-M1 systems, and their taking of launch positions in the areas of international airports in the cities of Kiev, Kharkov and Cherkassy," he said. "We do not rule out a planned provocation against passenger aircraft."
Basurin added that, "Against this background, the decision of some states to stop air service over the territory of Ukraine looks reasonable and prudent, which will help to avoid human casualties and a repetition of tragedies with the crashing of civilian airliners."
The situation on the line of contact in Donbass escalated on the morning of February 17. The DPR and LPR reported the most intense shelling from Ukraine in recent months. On February 18, the evacuation of residents of the DPR and LPR to Russia was announced, and on February 19, general mobilization began in the republics.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, after an appeal from the heads of the republics, on February 21 announced the recognition of the sovereignty of the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics. Treaties of friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance were signed with their leaders.