Kiev Orders Offensive on Captured E. Ukraine Areas

Kiev Orders Offensive on Captured E. Ukraine AreasKiev Orders Offensive on Captured E. Ukraine Areas

Ukrainian troops launched a massive assault on militia-held areas Sunday after an order from Kiev, a presidential aide said. The self-proclaimed Donetsk republic’s leader accused Kiev of trying to restart the war.

The order to launch the offensive was issued early approximately at 6:00 am, according to Yury Biryukov, an aide to President Petro Poroshenko, RT reported.

“We will show how good we are at jabbing in the teeth,” he said in a post.

In a later post he said, “They are now striking a dot.” in a reference to Tochka-U (‘tochka’ means ‘dot’ in Russian), a tactical ballistic missile, one of the most powerful weapons Ukraine so far deployed against rebel forces. “That wasn’t a dot but ellipsis. Strong booms,” he added.

Reports from the ground confirmed a sharp escalation of clashes across the front line, with particularly heavy artillery fire reported at Gorlovka.

“Locals in Donetsk said they haven’t heard such intensive shelling since summer,” Valentin Motuzenko, a military official in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, told Interfax news agency.

“The Ukrainian military are using all kinds of weapons, Grad multiple rocket launchers, mortars, among other things,” Motuzenko said.

An unnamed source said that a group of OSCE monitors have demanded that the Ukrainian military stop the shelling. The source added that there is a danger that the group may itself come under artillery fire.

Aleksandr Zakharchenko, who was elected in November the prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, has accused Kiev of using the ceasefire to regroup their troops and boost their armaments, and now of trying to restart the all-out war.

“It’s clear that Kiev is making an attempt to take revenge for the serious military defeat it took from the militia last year,” he added. “Kiev always ignored our numerous suggestions to pull back heavy weapons from the disengagement line.”