Video Shows Ukrainian Minister of Interior Running Away From Shelling

Published February 20th, 2022 - 07:10 GMT
Ukrainian fighters
Archival photo from 2015 drills by Ukrainian volunteer fighters in Mariupol. (ANATOLII STEPANOV/AFP)

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. 

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.

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.

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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