Two years ago, on April 14, 2014, then-acting Speaker of Ukrainian parliament Oleksandr Turchynov signed a decree starting Anti-Terroristic Operation in Donbas.
Turchynov called on Donbas militants to put down their weapons by 9 a.m. on April 14 and promised amnesty for those, who didn’t shoot at Ukrainian Armed Forces, the decree came into force thereafter.
On May 12, self-proclaimed republics “DPR” and “LPR” announced independence having conducted a referendum. The intensity of military activity in Donbas increased.
As of now, according to the UN, the number of victims of Donbas conflict reached 9,000 people, including 298 victims of Malaysian Boeing disaster. 15,000 people have been injured. Casualties of Ukrainian Armed Forces amount to 2,000 troopers.
A Trilateral Contact Group on Donbas conflict has been created. Minsk agreements have been signed due to negotiations of the contact group. The first Minsk agreement was signed on September 5, 2014, enshrining ceasefire, which has been constantly violated.
After dramatic deterioration of the conflict on February 12, after long negotiations of “Normandy Four” in Minsk, it has been agreed to implement ceasefire and withdraw weapons from contact line in Donbas. On February 14, leader of “DPR” Oleksandr Zakharchenko, who took part in Minsk negotiation, signed a decree, committing militants to implement ceasefire.
Ceasefire, approved during Minsk negotiation, came into force on December 23, at midnight. However, militants continue to violate ceasefire by shelling ATO positions on daily basis.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin informed about the demand of Western leaders to carry out local election in Donbas: the election must be open to mass media, political parties, must be based on Ukrainian law and come in line with OSCE criteria. Klimkin stated, that his colleagues “want to see real election, instead of another farce”.