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Ukraine denies launching offensive against Donbas

The only acceptable option for us is to de-occupy our people and territories through policy and diplomacy.

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Kiev: The Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian armed forces, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, on Friday denied launching a military action in the breakaway Donbas region and planning a sabotage in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) town of Horlivka earlier in the day.

“The statements, made by the heads of the occupational administrations about the alleged offensive of the Ukrainian armed forces and on the forceful liberation of the temporarily occupied territories, do not correspond to the reality. The information I have provided can also be confirmed by the OSCE,” Zaluzhnyi posted on Facebook. He said that diplomacy is the only acceptable option for Kiev in settling issues with Donbas.

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“The political and military leadership is not planning or conducting offensive operations in eastern Ukraine. The only acceptable option for us is to de-occupy our people and territories through policy and diplomacy. An offensive operation in Donbas would necessarily lead to numerous casualties among civilians, so these sorts of scenarios are not even being considered,” he said.

The commander also said that the Ukrainian military does not open fire first in Donbas but only respond to shelling.

“We do not fall for provocations. We do not shell residential areas where the militants cynically deployed their positions … The information about sabotage groups of the joint forces, that allegedly planned to blow up chlorine at the Horlivka wastewater treatment plant, completely does not correspond to the reality.

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