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Kyiv: Militants seize 500 square km of land since signing Minsk agreements

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Militants of the self-proclaimed Donbass republics with the assistance of Russian troops have seized 500 square kilometers of Ukrainian land since the day of signing of the Minsk agreements, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said.

"Russia started to breach the Minsk agreements on the first day after they were signed: 500 square kilometers have been added to the territory controlled by the militants. Now they want the airport and efforts of the Russian Armed Forces aim at broadening that territory," Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Yevhen Perebyinis said on Channel Five on Tuesday.

In his opinion, Russia has been doing so for eventual legalization of the maximally moved demarcation line at the talks in Berlin and a possible summit in Astana. The latest statements by Russia aimed at lulling the international community into a false sense of security before the January 19 sitting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council, Perebyinis said.

In turn, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Tuesday that Kyiv's allegations of Russian troops and military hardware crossing into Ukraine were wrong.

Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with the newspaper Argumenty i Fakty that the conflict in Donbas was an inter-Ukrainian conflict. "We cannot leave these people to the mercy of fate. Yet Russia cannot resolve the inter-Ukrainian conflict either," he said.

Source: Interfax-Ukraine

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