As for delivery by the Delegation of Ukraine to the
1131th special meeting of the Permanent Council, 31 January
The Delegation of Ukraine wishes to thank the Austrian OSCE Chairmanship
for a swift positive response to our request for convening this Special
Permanent Council meeting today. This request has been prompted by rapid
aggravation of the situation in and near Adviidka in
Donetsk oblast as a result of a sustained assault by the hybrid Russian forces
Since early hours of Sunday, 29 January, the hybrid Russian
forces have conducted massive artillery attacks on Avdiivka and its suburbs
directly from Donetsk and Yasynuvata residential
areas and sent assault units to seize control of the positions of the
Ukrainian Armed Forces near Avdiivka. The shellings
have been conducted with the use of MLRS "Grad", tanks, 152mm and
122mm artillery, 120mm and 82mm mortars.
On 29 January the Ukrainian positions were shelled nearly
four hundred times, while on 30 January this number doubled. The
information on high intensity of explosions was reflected in the SMM report of
30 January and registered by the monitors positioned in Yasynuvata
and Donetsk under control of the hybrid Russian forces.
As indicated in my letter, circulated to all delegations
this morning, the Ukrainian military undertook numerous efforts through the
JCCC to establish cease-fire regime, but the requests were ignored. On 30
January alone the Ukrainian side placed requests for cease-fire 136 times.
During last night, from 30 to 31 January, MLRS
"Grad" systems, positioned in residential areas of the Donetsk city,
were used to shell Avdiivka. Over 80 Grad missiles were fired. The hybrid
Russian forces regularly resort to the cynical practice of resorting to shellings under protection of civilian buildings. We
strongly condemn these terrorist tactics. This morning the shells landed close
to a hospital and residential buildings in Avdiivka.
Today in the morning the illegal armed formations requested
a cease-fire regime, which was widely reported by Russian propaganda media
outlets, and immediately after regrouping launched a new attack on the
Ukrainian Armed Forces positions.
This and previous attacks were repelled by the defences and
a tactical counter-attack of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, making the units of
the hybrid Russian forces retreat. However, their failure to
seize the Ukrainian positions and entailing losses have not stopped the
hybrid Russian forces from continuing the assault.
On two days of 29 and 30 January, 8 Ukrainian servicemen
were killed and 26 were wounded. There are casualties and wounded persons among
In the evening of 30 January the Russian hybrid forces
damaged the last functioning electric power line cutting off Avdiivka coke
plant and leaving the town of Avdiivka without heat, electric power and water
supply. Donetsk filter station stopped functioning.
Taking into account current weather conditions in Donbas,
where the temperature fell last night to minus 20 degrees Celsius, the
Ukrainian authorities have announced the emergency situation in Avdiivka which
now has the population of over 16000 people, among them over 2000 are children.
Due to a timely response, we have managed to sustain the functioning of the
heating system at a minimum level and to avoid a quick degradation of the
situation into a humanitarian disaster.
The Ukrainian authorities make every effort to ensure
life-sustaining activity and help people in a freezing town: 11 warming centres
were set up, scores of field kitchens were deployed, kindergardens and hospitals function in the emergency
mode. Additional police units were sent to protect civil order and help in
timely response to the emergency.
80 buses and 2 trains were prepared and made ready to
evacuate up to 12 thousand people from Avdiivka to other towns in the vicinity.
Voluntary evacuation has already been offered, primarily to people with
disabilities and children.
The Ukrainian authorities stand ready to send immediately,
as soon as ceasefire is guaranteed, the repair teams to repair electric power
line to Avdiivka and allow resumption of daily living activities of the
population. Unfortunately, the Russian officers in the JCCC would not come to
terms with the Russian officers in Donetsk on stopping the shellings
and extending the security guarantees for repair works. The current update from
the ground is that today the repairs would not be possible as until now
security guarantees have not been confirmed by the Russian part of the JCCC.
The attacks on and near Avdiivka in the last two days again
showed contempt of the hybrid Russian forces for the population of the region
and represented deliberate acts of military escalation on the eve of the
planned meeting of Trilateral Contact Group. Russia and its proxies in Donbas
continue to undermine the peaceful process, based on full and good-faith
implementation of the Minsk agreements, by pursuing their political objectives
through the usual blackmail of the indiscriminate use of force.
We once again urge the Russian Federation to exercise its
responsibility in honouring the undertaken Minsk commitments, specifically
their security provisions. We urge the Russian side to immediately halt its
offensive actions and shellings in Avdiivka and in
Donbas as a whole. Today the Ukrainian Foreign Minister and his Danish
counterpart were not able to visit Shyrokine near Mariupol because of continuous shellings
by the hybrid Russian forces.
Sustainable cease-fire regime and security are desperately
needed to meet the immediate needs of the civilian population.
The humanitarian emergency caused by deadly shellings of Avdiivka reinforces the high pertinence of
Ukraine’s demands to Russia to respect the cease-fire, to stop military
supplies to its hybrid forces in Donbas and withdraw them from Ukraine’s
territory. We underscore the importance of thorough verification by the SMM in
the occupied areas without restrictions to the freedom of movement as well as of establishment of permanent monitoring and
verification by the OSCE at the uncontrolled sections of the Ukrainian-Russian
We call on the OSCE participating States to step up
political and diplomatic pressure in seeking Russia’s full implementation of
undertaken Minsk commitments which it continuously and flagrantly violates.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.