Since the beginning of the day, militants have been shelling more than 20 settlements in the Donbas
As of 11 a.m. this day, the Russian occupation forces have recorded 29 ceasefire violations, 27 of which involve weapons prohibited by the Minsk agreements.
This was reported at the Joint Forces Operations Headquarters.
"With special cynicism, the Russian occupation forces shelled the village of Stanytsia Luhanska in the Luhansk region", - was informed by the OOS.
As a result of heavy artillery shelling, the shells hit a kindergarten building. Three people were injured and injured.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi commented on the shelling of a kindergarten. He called it a "great provocation".
"The shelling of a kindergarten in Stanytsia Luhanska by pro-Russian forces is a great provocation", - the president said.
According to Zelensky, it is important that diplomats and the OSCE remain in Ukraine, whose monitoring activities are "an additional deterrent".
The operational and tactical group "North" on the social network Facebook reports that as a result of the attack of the occupiers, three employees of the kindergarten were injured - two women and a man were injured. Fortunately, the children of the kindergarten remained unharmed. Also, half of the settlement was left without electricity.
It is noted that after the shelling, the occupiers began to spread misinformation.
"But the provocations of the enemy did not end there. The ORLO media, in particular the Telegram channels of the so-called "Summary of the Militia", distributed photos and videos of the kindergarten destroyed by the occupiers, backing them up with pseudo-accusations against the Armed Forces of Ukraine", - was informed in the statement.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba calls on international partners to condemn the shelling of Stanitsa Luhanska by the Russian occupiers.
This was announced by the Foreign Minister of Ukraine on the Twitter microblog.
"The Ukrainian village of Stanytsia Luhanska was shelled from the occupied territory of Donbass with heavy weapons. Damaged civilian infrastructure. We call on all partners to immediately condemn this serious violation of the Minsk agreements by Russia in the conditions of such a tense security situation", - Kuleba said.
Meanwhile, propagandists from ORDLO are spreading information on the Internet about the shelling of a kindergarten by the Ukrainian military and attaching a photo of a kindergarten in Stanytsia that was shelled by militants.
Earlier it was reported that the so-called "People's Militia of the People's Republic of Luhansk" accused the Armed Forces of Ukraine of significantly aggravating the situation on the line of battle in Luhansk region. In the morning, a representative of the militants, Yan Leshchenko, recorded a video message in which he stated that the Armed Forces "are trying to escalate the conflict".
In particular, the militant accused 57 OMBRs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine of shelling the area controlled by the occupiers of Sokilnyky and Donetsk with a 120-mm mortar.
A representative of the militants accused 79 OMBRs of allegedly firing mortars at the settlement of Veselenke, and personnel of 24 OMBRs accused them of shelling the occupied settlement of Zolote-5, and so on.
Representatives of the DNR's illegal armed groups also claimed heavy mortar shelling of several settlements controlled by the DNR occupiers.
The Ukrainian military urges citizens not to trust information from unverified sources and to remember that the Armed Forces always adhere to all legal and moral principles at the front.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky told reporters that against the background of reports of the threat of Russian invasion of Ukraine, an official request was submitted to the Administration of the President of the Russian Federation for contacts with Vladimir Putin. According to him, "Ukraine is not left without an answer", but this answer does not lead to a meeting of the two presidents.
In turn, Dmitry Peskov noted that such requests did come to the Administration of the President of the Russian Federation, but Kyiv did not provide an answer about the purpose of the meeting.
However, Moscow has repeatedly stated that a potential meeting could take place, but it will discuss issues of bilateral relations between Ukraine and Russia, which are not related to Donbass and Crimea.
According to a report by the Defense Ministry's Main Intelligence Directorate, no real withdrawal of Russian troops has been recorded.
This was stated by Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov in an interview with RBC-Ukraine.
"Small units for the species are indeed being withdrawn, but to say that this is a total or even significant withdrawal of troops - no, this is not happening. And here it coincides with yesterday's statements from the United States that there is no withdrawal of troops", - the Defense Minister said.
Dmytro Snegiryov, co-chairman of the Prava Sprava public initiative, informed Suspilne Crimea that the so-called withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine's border is a common way to reassure Western partners.
"This is a game to reduce the subjectivity of our key partners: Britain and the United States, which have announced the date of a possible attack by Russia. Russia's intention was to show that this information is not true and had an element of information and psychological warfare", - the expert said.
He also added that on February 16 in Ukraine there is a Day of Unity, people have a festive mood, and on February 17, as a "cold shower", there is a local aggravation in the occupied territories.
"All probable scenarios reported in the tabloids have been completely refuted. It is worth noting that the shelling took place against the backdrop of Russia's statements about the so-called "genocide" of the people of Donbass, giving an informational pretext that it is a separate nation and giving the opportunity to accuse the Armed Forces of crimes against civilians", - Snegiryov said.
The military expert stressed that the West was shouting about invasions directly from the territories of the Russian Federation, and the escalation is taking place in eastern Ukraine.
"Currently, the international community is actively pushing Zelensky to decide on the possible implementation of the so-called 'Stanmayer formula. The escalation comes amid visits by Scholz, Macron and others trying to settle relations through diplomatic relations, but Moscow is sending a clear signal to Western countries that diplomatic relations will be maintained only when Putin's rules are adopted and his red lines are taken into account", - Dmitry said.
He drew attention to the fact that there is now information tension and panic. The expert noted that there would be no intrusion, as none of the statements of the American and British media was confirmed.
Meanwhile, British intelligence reports that Russia is moving additional armored vehicles, helicopters and a field hospital to Ukraine's borders. The United States says another 7,000 Russian troops have been transferred to the border.
Despite Russia's statements about withdrawing troops from Ukraine's borders, Russia continues to increase its military power in the region.
This was announced on the night of Thursday, February 17, at the US White House and British military intelligence.
"We have not seen evidence that Russia has withdrawn its troops from Ukraine's borders," Reuters quoted British military intelligence chief Jim Hockenhall as saying.
According to him, on the contrary, additional armored vehicles and helicopters are moving towards Ukraine, and a field hospital was also noticed.
"Russia has the military capabilities to invade Ukraine", - he said.
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