This was stated by National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov in the aftermath of Olenivka shelling by Russia's terrorist gangs, Censor.NET reports referring to NSDC press service.
"I sincerely express my condolences to the families of Ukrainian citizens tragically killed and injured as a result of the shelling by Russian-terrorist groups that occurred in the vicinity of Olenivka village.
"This cynical and provocative act was intended to discredit the image of Ukraine and its Armed Forces in the eyes of the civilian population in temporarily occupied territories and the international community right on the eve of the next meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk and the big Christian holiday - Easter," the NSDC secretary noted.
According to Turchynov, the facts of the crime indicate that the provocation was carefully plotted. It was preceded by a series of events, namely:
- the arrival of Russian propaganda reporters in Donetsk prior to the tragic incident, who were among the first to appear at the scene and perform live broadcast;
- deliberate creation of a queue on the outskirts of Olenivka under false pretenses and a delay in the check of citizens coming from terrorist-controlled territory;
- preliminary "prediction" and announcement of the shelling of the militant-occupied village by "DPR" representative Basurin.
"Based on the irrefutable facts and evidence of locals, it is clear that the shelling was carried out from the area of Yasne village (north-western edge of Dokuchaievsk (47°47'28.7"37°37'59.4")) located in terrorist-controlled territory, about 4 km away from the scene," Turchynov stressed.
"It should be noted that the Ukrainian side constantly fulfills the Minsk agreements and sticks to its commitments. We have removed heavy weapons, tanks, artillery, and mortars from the contact line at stipulated distances, as evidenced by regular inspections of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, while Russian-terrorist groups routinely violate these agreements, threaten, and otherwise impede the work of the mission," the statement reads.
"Thus, the above facts refute the allegations of Russia's propaganda, regarding the alleged involvement of Ukraine's Armed Forces in the death of people in Olenivka village and thus point to a complex of provocative actions and a bloody act of terrorism by Russian occupation forces and illegal armed groups, seeking to discredit ATO forces and disguise further military escalation of the conflict with newsworthy information. Such cases represent further proof of crimes against civilians and can not be ignored. They should be thoroughly investigated not only in the framework of the Trilateral Contact Group, but also the International Military Tribunal," Turchynov summed up.