Lamberto Zannier, OSCE Secretary General, frequently reported that the organization’s activity in Ukraine are being sabotaged by the terrorists. Efforts have been made to utilize drones, so that monitoring of compliance with the international requirements could be realized, however, the UAV’s have been shot at by the pro-Russian units. Since Friday it has been proven that the terrorists, who are supported by the Russians, are gathering their forces in the Nowoazovsk area, which is located 40 km from Mariupol. Another unexpected “humanitarian convoy” entered the Donbass area on Friday morning. This convoy had not been announced by the Russians earlier on.
On Saturday night another strikes on the Ukrainian forces took place. 12 instances of shelling were noted, including 4 with the use of Grad launchers, and 5 with the use of artillery and mortars. The situation has been most critical in the village of Piaski, however, shots were also fired in the towns of Avdiyjivka, Wodyane and Tonenke.
Simultaneously, on Friday, the self-proclaimed leader of the People’s Republic of Donetsk, Olexandr Zakharchenko, has signed documents, aim of which is to regulate withdrawal of the heavy equipment from the line of contact with the Ukrainian forces. The process is to be started on Sunday, 22nd February. OSCE press release said that the organization expects full cooperation of both parties regarding verification of implementation of the latest memorandum. Debaltseve area will be problematic here, since the terrorist forces have been obliged to withdraw the armament in line with the border layout that was present on the day of 19th September 2014. Ukraine is obliged to withdraw its forces to the places they have taken on the day when the Minsk II memorandum has been signed.
“The stakes are really high, we don't want to scare everybody, but we are preparing for full-scale war. What we expect from the world is that the world will stiffen up in the spine a little. Everybody is afraid of fighting with a nuclear state. We are not anymore, in Ukraine — we've lost so many people of ours, we've lost so much of our territory. However dangerous it sounds, we have to stop [Putin] somehow. For the sake of the Russian nation as well, not just for the Ukrainians and Europe.” – as it has been said by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine in his interview for the CBC radio station. He added that Kiev is expecting to receive help from Canada and the US, also in a form of armament supplies.
Despite the fact that shelling continues, the planned prisoner exchange has been started on Saturday. Ukrainian Security Service has presented a list of 139 soldiers who have been released. Bodies of the dead have been given back as well – so far – 19 soldiers and medics.