June 3, 2015 – Ottawa
The Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) strongly condemns the offensive launched by Kremlin-backed terrorists today against Ukrainian forces at Maryinka, Donetsk oblast in eastern Ukraine.
In blatant disregard for commitments made under the Minsk II ceasefire agreements, Kremlin-backed terrorists of the so-called Donetsk “Peoples’ Republic” began a massive artillery bombardment of Ukrainian positions at Maryinka. An attack by some 1000 troops, with artillery, tank and armored vehicle support was launched. As of 3 PM Kyiv time, Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence reported that Ukrainian forces had repelled the assault.
Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk stated, “Today, Russia has once again violated the Minsk agreements. Ahead of a meeting of the G-7, yesterday Russia deliberately scuttled a meeting of the trilateral contact group, and today it has instructed its terrorists to begin a military operation. […] I am hopeful that the international community will give a proper and adequate response to Russian aggression at the G7 summit.”
Since the signature of the Minsk II Agreements on February 12, 2015, the Russian Federation and the terrorists it leads, supplies, trains and directs, have blatantly and intentionally violated the terms of the ceasefire on a daily basis. The Kremlin has used the ceasefire to re-supply, re-position and strengthen its invading forces in Ukraine. Numerous sources, including high-ranking NATO officials, have stated that Russian actions during the ceasefire are consistent with preparations for further offensives against Ukraine.
“Today’s attack on Maryinka demonstrably shows that Russia has no intention of abiding by the Minsk II ceasefire agreement to which it is a party. Every day, Ukrainian soldiers and Ukrainian civilians are being killed and injured by Russian artillery shells,” stated Paul Grod, National President of the UCC. “This assault against Ukrainian forces and Russia’s continued flagrant violations must be answered with a robust response from Ukraine’s allies – Canada, the United States and NATO countries.”
The UCC calls on Canada, the United States and NATO allies to:
– Immediately provide Ukraine with defensive weapons, including anti-tank weapons and equipment it needs to defend its territorial integrity and the lives of the civilian population;
– Significantly increase sectoral sanctions against Russia’s defence, security, energy and financial services sectors – in particular banning Russia from the SWIFT banking system;
– Declare the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk “Peoples’ Republics” as terrorist organizations and designate the Russian Federation a state sponsor of terrorism.