Ukraine not to hold direct talks with militants despite being pushed toward their legitimization – envoy
Various forces have been pushing Ukraine toward legitimization of Donbas militants and holding direct negotiations with representatives of the temporarily occupied areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, according to First Deputy Chair of the Verkhovna Rada and Ukraine’s humanitarian envoy to the Trilateral contact group on Donbas settlement Iryna Gerashchenko, Joinfo.com reports with reference to UNIAN.
“Ukraine is being pushed by various forces to legitimize militants and hold direct talks with the representatives of the certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, thus trying to create scenarios of direct negotiations going in parallel lines to the Minsk process, without the Russian Federation and OSCE,” Gerashchenko wrote on Facebook.
She added that these efforts “seriously complicate the already difficult work of the Ukrainian delegation in Minsk.”
“But there will be no direct negotiations and no legitimization of militants,” Gerashchenko wrote, “whatever dirty scenarios Kremlin plays in this hybrid war against Ukraine.” The official also said that the position regarding the impossibility of direct talks with the militants is “the position of the president, government, and all healthy forces in parliament, as well as pro-Ukrainian politicians.” “This is the position that unites us all,” said Gerashchenko.
President Poroshenko vows continued support for Ukrainians in occupied Crimea
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko said that the Ukrainian authorities would not leave without support the Ukrainians living in the Russia-occupied Crimea, Joinfo.com reports with reference to UNIAN.
“Three years ago, Crimean residents went on a peaceful march to show their solidarity with Ukraine. The next day, the Russian Federation resorted to open aggression and seized the peninsula, taking hostage millions of people. We will not leave without support our fellow citizens living in Crimea, temporarily occupied by Russia,” he wrote on Facebook on the occasion of the third anniversary of the peaceful march in Crimea in support of Ukraine.
He also noted that Ukraine has managed to ensure that at the highest international level, the United Nations, Russia is recognized as the occupation authority, responsible for gross violations of human rights in the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine – the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol.
“The entire civilized world knows that Crimea is Ukraine. We continue our fight,” said the president. Today, February 26, Kyiv will host a March of Solidarity with the Crimean Tatars, Ukrainians and people of other nationalities, remaining under occupation.
Militants launched 49 attacks on Ukrainian troops, 4 soldiers wounded in action on Saturday
According to the report of the Anti-Terrorist operation HQ, in the Mariupol sector, militants fired mortars on Lebedynske, Chermalyk. They also fired grenade launchers and small arms on Pavlopil, Chermalyk, Shyrokine, Vodiane, and Hnutove.
In the Donetsk sector, the enemy tank fired at the Ukrainian positions near Pisky, the Butivka coal mine, and Kam’ianka. The enemy fired mortars of various calibers on Avdiyivka, Zaitseve, Luhanske, Troitske, and Butivka coal mine. Grenade launchers and small arms were fired at Novhorodske, Pisky, Novoluhanske, Verhnetoretske, Kirove, and Zaitseve.
In the Luhansk sector, the occupiers fired 120 mm mortars on Troitske, Novotoshkovske and small arms – on Stanytsia Luhanska.
A total of 49 attacks was recorded in the past day, which resulted in four of Ukrainian soldiers being wounded in action and another one injured, according to ATO HQ.