The letter of Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the International Organizations in Vienna Ihor Prokopchuk to Chairperson of the OSCE Permanent Council Clemens Koja on immediate threatening development taking place in Avdiivka
I am addressing you about the immediate threatening development taking place in Avdiivka in Donbas.
In the course of the last two days, the hybrid Russian forces have been conducting heavy attacks on Avdiivka and its suburbs seeking to seize positions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in that area. Since early morning of 29 January, when the illegal armed formations launched their first in the series of attacks, 8 Ukrainian servicemen were killed and 26 were wounded. There are casualties among civilians.
Despite numerous requests of cease-fire through the JCCC, the hybrid Russian forces continue to shell Avdiivka with MLRS "Grad", tanks fire, 152mm and 122mm artillery, 120mm and 82mm mortars. The residential areas Avdiivka are also under attack.
Demonstrating full neglect for human lives and well-being of the people, the Russian hybrid forces damaged in the evening of 30 January the last functioning electric power line cutting off Avdiivka Coke Plant and leaving the town of Avdiivka without heat, electric power and water supply. Donetsk filter station stopped functioning.
Emergency situation was announced in Avdiivka. Taking into account current weather conditions in Donbas, where the temperature was registered last night at minus 20 degrees Celsius, this emergency situation is quickly moving towards a humanitarian disaster. We attach the statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine of 30 January 2017.
The Ukrainian authorities work hard to prevent loss of human lives in freezing towns. Warming centres are being established throughout affected areas, kindergardens and hospitals have been brought into emergency mode. Additional police units were sent to ensure civil order and timely response to the emergency.
The Ukrainian authorities stand ready to send immediately the repair teams as soon as ceasefire is reached.
We urge the Russian Federation to exercise responsibility for complying with its commitments and to stop its aggressive actions in Avdiivka industrial area and in Donbas in whole. Cease-fire regime and security are desperately needed to provide civilian population with what is most urgently needed.
We regret that the Russian Federation continues to ignore its obligations under the Minsk agreements attempting to undermine the efforts aimed at stabilization of the situation in Donbas and to hinder any further progress in security and humanitarian fields.
We call on the OSCE participating States to step up their political and diplomatic pressure on Russia in order to make it stop the dangerous escalation on the ground in Donbas and to prevent dreadful humanitarian catastrophe in the region.
In light of the above the Delegation of Ukraine requests convening a Special Permanent Council meeting to make a review of the situation to prevent the humanitarian disaster.
Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest considerations.
Permanent Representative of Ukraine
to the International Organizations in Vienna
H.E. Clemens KOJA
Permanent Representative of the Republic of Austria to the OSCE
Chairperson of the OSCE Permanent Council
To the OSCE Secretary General
To all Ambassadors and Heads of Delegation
of the OSCE participating States and Partners for Co-operation