Ukraine makes new accusations against Russia
Ukrainian officials claimed on Friday that Russian special services have allegedly mined “a number of social infrastructure facilities” in Donetsk and called on city residents not to leave their homes. They did not provide any evidence for the claim.
Hours before that, the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics called on local residents to evacuate to Russia in light of anticipated military aggression by the Ukrainian forces. Kiev has denied any plans to take the breakaway regions by force. Shortly after the evacuation announcements were made, a major explosion occurred in the center of Donetsk.
On Friday evening, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, referring to the country’s intelligence data, said, “Russian special services have mined a number of social infrastructure facilities in Donetsk in order to further undermine them.”
In a series of tweets, the ministry claimed these alleged measures were poised to destabilize the situation “in the temporarily occupied territories” of Ukraine and to “create grounds for accusing Ukraine of terrorist attacks.” These allegations seem to repeat earlier statements by Ukraine’s Western allies, who over the last few months have been constantly accusing Russia of creating a pretext for an ‘invasion’ into Ukraine – something Russia has consistently denied.
The defense ministry went further by urging Donetsk residents “not to leave their homes and not to use public transport.”
Russia has vehemently rejected the accusations of hatching any plans to use force against Ukraine, repeatedly urging the country to fulfill the Minsk agreements, which were signed in 2015 to outline a roadmap for peace in the war-torn country.