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Ukraine And Donbass Rebels Accuse Each Other Of Violating Ceasefire As Kremlin Denies Troop Movement Reports

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

After days of conflicting reports about Russian troop movements from NATO and myriad media sources, the Biden Administration and its incessant warnings about an impending invasion have become the butt of jokes across the Internet…

But finally, on Thursday, after weeks of waiting, the International media reported "heavy fire" in the war-torn Donbass region of Ukraine.

However, unfortunately for the US media and its propaganda machine, it was troops aligned with the Ukrainian government who started the firing, according to RT.

Leaders from the separatist Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) in the east of Ukraine reported on Thursday that government troops had attacked the outskirts of its territory. According to the DPR, units from Kiev fired at several towns and villages using 82 millimeter mortars, hand grenades, and rifles.

But some western outlets claimed the question of 'who fired first?' just isn't clear: According to Reuters (which is technically headquartered in the UK) the two sides traded accusations of firing across the ceasefire line. But don't worry – this kind of thing happens all the time, per Reuters:

The details of the incidents could not be independently confirmed, and the initial reports suggested they were on a similar scale to ceasefire violations that have been common throughout the eight year conflict.

RT added that the Ukrainian government-backed troops blew up a Kindergarten in the Lugansk People’s Republic, the other breakaway region, during the exchange,

The Ukrainian Armed Forces subsequently reported that a settlement located near the Lugansk People’s Republic, the other breakaway territory in the region, had been attacked and photographs circulating online purport to show a kindergarten hit by a shell on the side controlled by government forces. Authorities stated that two civilians had been injured, missiles had hit the school, and half the area had lost electricity. The residents were evacuated.

A couple of Ukrainian civilians were reportedly injured in that attack. Again, western media outlets like ABC News reported that it was the Russia separatist forces who had shelled a school in the southeastern village of Stanytsia Luhanska.

Meanwhile, back across the border with Russia, US authorities are again warning that instead of pulling back troops, Russia is adding another 7K. President Vladimir Putin has said the "partial" troop pullback he promised earlier this week would take time, 

U.K. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace backed the U.S. assessment. “I think we have seen the opposite of some of the statements, we’ve seen an increase of troops over the last 48 hours, up to 7,000, we’ve seen a bridge constructed from Belarus into Ukraine or near Ukraine,” he told reporters on Thursday in Brussels.

Ukraine also complained about a DDoS attack on government websites that has become another thorn in President Zelenskiy's side.

The Kremlin has denied the US reports of the latest troop movements, as well as claims that it's planning anything beyond military exercises. Diplomatic talks between Russia, Ukraine and a handful of European allies (Germany, France and the OSCE): "The statement about 7,000 is just as much a fake as the ones about an attack on Feb. 15-16," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a text message Thursday.

Speaking during his now-daily press briefings, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg reiterated warnings about a looming Russian "false flag" attack that Nato and its leaders have been repeating for weeks now (remember, "this is Alex Jones territory").

There were also reports of the rebel forces downing a Ukrainian drone.

Aked about the school attack, Stoltenberg called it a "big provocation". The Ukrainian President Zelenskiy said around the same time that it's "important" for European diplomats to remain in Ukraine.

On the diplomacy front, EU leaders will discuss the Russia tensions Thursday in Brussels, before G-7 foreign ministers meet in Munich on Saturday. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will speak by phone later Thursday. Officials in Moscow have dismissed US warnings of a possible invasion of Ukraine as "hysteria" and propaganda.


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