Militants and Russian media have disseminated false information about mortar attacks by Ukrainian Armed Forces on Zaitseve village (Donetsk region), where Russian and Chinese journalists fell under fire, anti-terrorist operation (ATO) headquarters reported on Monday.
"We officially declare that escalation in Zaitseve is observed on militants' side", the ATO headquarters press center wrote on its Facebook page.
In a statement, the ATO headquarters regretted that Ukrainian media also disseminated this fake news.
"In its turn, ATO headquarters closely monitors all the changes on the ground on this [Zaitseve] direction. Thus, three mortal attacks coming from the side of illegal armed groups were recorded (19 mortar shells were fired); besides, various types of grenade launchers, heavy machine guns, and small arms were repeatedly used," the statement said.
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Despite attacks on its positions, Ukrainian military adhered to Minsk agreements and withheld fire, the ATO headquarters stressed.
"Therefore, reports of alleged attacks on Zaitseve village are another pre-planned provocation of Russian mercenaries. Illegal armed groups disseminate false information about the situation on the ground on a regular basis," the ATO headquarters added.