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ATO headquarters: reports of alleged attacks on Zaitseve are pre-planned provocation of Russian mercenaries

ATO headquarters: reports of alleged attacks on Zaitseve are pre-planned provocation of Russian mercenariesMilitants 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.

Read also: One Ukrainian soldier killed, one wounded in Donbas

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.
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