Tensions on the eastern border of Ukraine continue to rise in recent hours with about 1,500 violations of the ceasefire between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatist fighters. Meanwhile, a video has gone viral online as it showed shelling bombs fall only yards away from the Ukrainian Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskiy who had to run for his life.
The video which was documented by AFP showed Denys Monastyrskiy during a tour near the eastern border where tensions have been escalating for weeks, moments before shelling by separatist fighters targeted the area he was inspecting along with several other military personnel.
#VIDEO an AFP camera crew caught the moment a dozen mortar shells fell within a few hundred metres (yards) of Ukraine's interior minister on Saturday as he met journalists on a tour of the frontline with Russian-backed rebelshttps://t.co/bSP9oghh8Z pic.twitter.com/cV2PFOdVJ9— AFP News Agency (@AFP) February 19, 2022
During the last few days, accusations between western countries led by NATO members and Russia encouraged several separatist movements in Donetsk and Lugansk to the east of Ukraine, where shelling has been frequent, despite serious warnings by European and Russian leaders of a potential war in Ukraine.
On Friday and Saturday, Russian-backed separatist leaders in east Ukraine announced general mobilization and called on civilians to evacuate to Russia in preparation for a wide-scale battle against Ukrainian forces. According to the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Russian Federation, more than 40,000 refugees from Donbass have made it to Russia from bordering regions.
The leader of the Unrecognized DPR Denis Pushilin has announced a general mobilization saying "I urge fellow countrymen who are in reserve to come to the military commissariats. Today I signed a decree on general mobilization".— Donald Standeford (@Don_Standeford) February 19, 2022
Read More:https://t.co/SKCOz5NkyA pic.twitter.com/lc1vb05k8V
Now: Leader of the Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) Leonid Pasechnik also announces an evacuation. All of the areas in Ukraine under separatist control are currently evacuating civilians. pic.twitter.com/wtEXGxgzjo— Woofers (@NotWoofers) February 18, 2022
Amongst the separatist movements that have been called for full general mobilization and prevented all male adults from leaving the region is the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic headed by Denis Pushilin, who has close ties with the Russian government, in addition to the self-proclaimed Lugansk People's Republic led by Leonid Pasechnik.
🇺🇦⚡️"If some 'Girkin' tries to seize our administrative buildings, he will be shot by our special forces without warning and without any doubts" - Ukrainian Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskiy pic.twitter.com/UT4rrCynZW— Ukraine War Report (@UkrWarReport) February 14, 2022
Both governments are unrecognized internationally and have full support from the Russian government, which ignited western fears of a Russian military intervention aimed at annexing the two regions, similar to the Russian annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in 2014.
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