“There is no threat of a large-scale offensive by the Russian troops so far. Our military personnel are on high alert suppressing the enemy attacks without violating the Minsk agreements. However, the enemy is quite likely to conduct local combat operations.
“The enemy's incentive is obvious. The Russian military command intends to demonstrate that the withdrawal of the Russian military observers from the Joint Center for Control and Coordination of the cease-fire in the Donbas (JCCC) leads to an uncontrolled escalation. Putin needs concealed war," he wrote.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry earlier said that the Russian members of the JCCC will leave Ukraine on Dec. 19. The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs called the withdrawal of the Russian observers a provocation and an attempt to dodge the responsibility.
The agency expressed indignation over the unilateral decision of the Russian Federation, as a party to the conflict, to withdraw its monitors considering it as "a provocation that substantially undermines the Minsk agreements and the desire to exempt itself from liability for the consequences of the armed aggression against our state."
Both Ukrainian and Russian observers of the JCCC left the areas of the Donbas temporarily occupied by the militants today.