The Ukrainian military has rejected accusations by Russia that it is preparing an attack on separatist regions in eastern Ukraine, DPA reported, quoted by BTA.
“The liberation of the temporarily occupied territories by force will inevitably lead to the deaths of a large number of civilians and military casualties, which is unacceptable for Ukraine,” Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Ruslan Khomchak said today.
Earlier, Russia warned Ukraine not to seize the breakaway parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions by force and threatened military intervention.
For days, Kiev and Moscow have blamed each other for new tensions in the seven-year-old conflict, with both sides deploying troops near the conflict areas.
Ukraine reiterated that it continued to prefer a diplomatic settlement to the conflict, but noted that the military was ready to provide an “adequate response” in the event of an escalation.
In an interview in late March, Khomchak said it was not a problem for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to order an offensive.
Reports of growing tensions in the conflict area and the movement of Russian troops to the Ukrainian border have recently caused concern among the international community.