National Security Council secretary refutes Russian claims Ukraine shelled Rostov region
During a press briefing on Feb. 21, Oleksiy Danilov, the secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, denied Russian claims that the Ukrainian Armed Forces had fired on a border outpost in Russia’s Rostov Oblast.
In the morning on Feb. 21, the Russian FSB security service claimed that a border outpost 150 meters from the border with Ukraine in Rostov Oblast was destroyed by some kind of artillery shell. A video of a damaged structure is said to show the destroyed outpost.
“We’re not shelling (Russia), we have nothing to do with this,” said Danilov.
“We have warned about this before, and we are warning again: they (the Russians) can fantasize as much as they want, we’re ready for anything they can do; moreover, the whole world is ready.”
Danilov added that despite its efforts, Russia won’t be able to goad Ukraine into doing anything rash.
“We deny the allegations of shelling the Rostov region,” said the secretary.
Russian propaganda has markedly intensified in the recent days, focusing on claims about Ukraine shelling of non-government-controlled areas of Donbas and even parts of Russia’s Rostov Oblast, while presenting little evidence. Ukraine’s Defense Ministry warns that Moscow could try and use these provocations as a pretext for another invasion of Ukraine.
Russian proxies have similarly ramped up the frequency of their shelling of Ukrainian army positions. According to Joint Forces Operation’s data, before the recent flare-up in shelling there were between two to five daily incidents this year. In contrast, on Feb. 17 enemy forces fired upon Ukrainian troops 60 times. On Feb. 19, Moscow-controlled forces opened fire on Ukraine’s Armed Forces 136 times, killing two Ukrainian soldiers.
Kyiv denies any plans to reclaim Donbas territories by force, stressing Ukraine’s commitment to exclusively diplomatic solutions to the conflict.
Russia has been building up a military presence along Ukrainian borders since the end of October 2021. The U.S. ambassador to the OSCE, Michael Carpenter, said on Feb. 21 that Russia has arrayed between 169,000 and 190,000 troops on the Russian-Ukrainian and Belarusian-Ukrainian border, and in the temporarily occupied territories of Crimea and the Donbas.
Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Google News