Ambassadors of the United States, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Canada and Sweden visited Donbas on Thursday, February 11, accompanied by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The diplomats of the six countries commented about the situation in Donbas. They voiced support for the end of the conflict in the region.
The U.S. Embassy said that Chargé d'Affaires Kristina Kvien joined the visit to hear how Russia's snipers attempt to provoke Ukrainian defenders.
British Ambassador to Ukraine Melinda Simons said that the ambassadors discussed the daily experience of Ukrainian military regarding the ceasefire and violations.
French Ambassador to Ukraine Etienne de Poncins said the diplomats and the Ukrainian president had spent the whole day near the line of contact.
German Ambassador to Ukraine Anka Feldhusen recalled that the day of the visit marked the sixth anniversary of the start of talks in Minsk (the so-called Minsk-2 agreements). She also extended her condolences to the relatives of a Ukrainian soldier killed by an enemy sniper on February 11.
Swedish Ambassador to Ukraine Tobias Thyberg, called a briefing "very valuable."
Canadian Ambassador to Ukraine Larisa Galadza wrote a thread on Twitter and said, "At each stop, there was no mistaking that this war is active, again, notwithstanding the ceasefire."
"Thursday marked 200 days of the ceasefire in the war that Ukraine is fighting with Russia and Russia-backed separatists in Donbas. President Zelensky invited some ambassadors to go East and take a closer look.
At the 1st stop, we saw a collection of exploded ordnance remnants. I expected that these were historic relics from the early days of war. Sadly they were relatively “fresh” - displayed for us to demonstrate that despite the ceasefire agreement, the enemy does not stop provoking.
I also chatted with a CIMIC (Civil-Military Co-operation) officer. She organizes activities in the communities in/near the grey zone, to build people’s trust in what their own government does & says about the war. Because disinformation circulates widely, it’s dangerous, and it works.
At each stop, there was no mistaking that this war is active, again, notwithstanding the ceasefire). During our briefings, soldiers all around were working. But for 1 soldier on duty, a few km’s away, his day and his days had already ended tragically. Sniper fire in a ceasefire.
I found it touching that he (Zelensky) especially thanked their parents & families. One soldier whose son is also a soldier, said she hoped her grandchild would not need to fight this war." Canadian Ambassador wrote.
She concluded that Canada supports the continuation of the ceasefire, and supports the soldiers who uphold it, as it is the only way to move towards peace.