Ukrainian soldiers report increased shelling on the front lines, fearing ‘provocation’ According to Reuters


© Reuters. A Ukrainian soldier holds a machine gun in a trench at a position on the front line near the village of Travneve in the Donetsk region, Ukraine February 21, 2022. REUTERS / Gleb Garanich


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By Serhiy Takhmazov

TRAVNEVE, Ukraine (Reuters) – Government troops in frontline trenches in eastern Ukraine said on Monday heavy weapon fire from Russian-backed separatists had increased to incite full-blown conflict. present amid concerns that Russia may find a pretext for an all-out invasion of Ukraine.

Ukraine’s military has been fighting Russian-backed forces in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions bordering Russia since 2014 in a conflict that Ukraine’s leadership says has left 15,000 people dead. A ceasefire in 2015 averted the worst of the fighting, but shelling has increased along the “line of communication” since last week as Russia increased its forces along the Ukrainian border.

Western governments accuse the Kremlin of preparing to fabricate a military attack on Ukraine by blaming Kyiv for the attacks and relying on pleas from the separatists for help.

“In the last few days, it’s been very hot (dangerous) here,” said one Ukrainian soldier, identifying himself as Chamomile, his guerrilla, while giving Reuters a tour through the fortified trenches. incidents in the government-controlled Trasneve area.

“They shot at us everywhere along the front, with heavy mortars, 120mm, 150mm. Here it became much more dangerous,” he said.

“It might be to incite us, to have us respond to their fire. And they might – I guess here – want to incite us to a full-blown war,” he said, a sign on the side. Then he read: “Warning: Sniper.”

Russia denies any plans to attack its neighbour, but has threatened unspecified “military-technical” action unless it receives extensive security guarantees, including a promise that Ukraine will never join NATO.

Another Ukrainian soldier who followed his storm said the separatists appeared intent on reasserting the menace of their heavy weapons.

“… They are always ready to provoke us, provoke us more and therefore blame us for their actions…” We can expect anything from them after eight years of war. Anything can happen. We are always ready for the worst, and hoping for the best. “

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