Briefly about the most important today's events in our digest of events
that have happened in Ukraine today
Sergeev: Rebels threaten to attack Kharkiv
Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the UN Yuriy Sergeev asserted that rebels had threatened to kill everyone defending the town of Debaltseve, as well as attack Kharkiv, according to his report at a UN Security Council meeting on Tuesday evening.
He reminded that Russia had brought in yet another so-called "humanitarian convoy" without Ukraine's permission.
Sergeev did not rule out a possibility that Russia delivered weapons to Donbas under the guise of humanitarian aid.
However, Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN Vitaliy Churkin said that Ukraine allegedly refused to inspect "humanitarian aid".
As reported earlier, Russia has repeatedly brought in so-called "humanitarian convoys" without Ukraine's consent. Border guards announced that the Russian part allowed them to inspect only some of trucks.
As mentioned before, the intensity of shelling tends to increase upon arrival of Russia's "humanitarian convoys".
Tymchuk: Rebel reserves moved to Debaltseve; a checkpoint held the front against enemy attacks
Fighting is raging near the town of Debaltseve, the head of the Information Resistance Group, MP Dmytro Tymchuk, reports.
"The Headquarters of Russian and terrorist forces flung all reserves available in the area into battle in order to get this settlement under rebel control," he posted in Facebook on the morning of February 18.
"As a result, the enemy managed to enter into the town, and engage in combat in its eastern and central parts," he added.
"Additionally, Ukrainian troops repelled terrorists' attempts to attack a Ukrainian checkpoint at the external perimeter of the lodgement near the settlement of Faschivka," he reports.
"As a result, the enemy was pushed back with saturation flank fire to the kick-off line," Tymchuk says.
ATO Headquarters: Operation's in progress in Debaltseve; rebels preparing for new attacks
Ukrainian military continue a "combat operation" in the Debaltseve area, the Ukrainian Defence Ministry reported on its website on Wednesday.
Kyiv repeated that militants "began storming Debaltseve after fierce shelling, thus, they were violating the peace deal".
"Terrorists carried out five strikes on the city of Debaltseve with Grad MLRSs and artillery in the past 24 hours. Enemy's subversive and intelligence groups entered into the city on Tuesday afternoon Railways and several roads to the city were blown up and power lines were damaged," the report reads.
Illegal armed groups have also intensified their activities in the Donetsk direction, it says.
According to the Ukrainian authorities, five settlements including Vodyane, Pisky and Avdiyivka, came under mortar and artillery fire in the past 24 hours. The village of Novotoshkivka, Lugansk region, was fired upon with artillery and Grads.
In the Mariupol direction, rebels stormed positions of ATO forces near the village of Shyrokine several times, the report continues.
"The number of artillery attacks somewhat decreased in the early hours of February 18. The number of the enemy drones conducting air reconnaissance increased along the entire front line. According to information, the enemy is regrouping and preparing for new combat actions," the report resumed.
Moskal: Fighting brakes out in Chornukhine and Troitske, Lugansk region
It was rather quiet across the most government-held territories of Lugansk region on Tuesday and Wednesday morning, Head of Lugansk Regional State Administration Gennady Moskal reported on his official page on Wednesday.
No shelling was registered at "traditional" flash points (Stanytsia Luganska, Stanychno-Luganskiy, Krymske, Novotoshkivka, Schastya, Popasna, Tryokhizbenka, and Girske).
Military operations are in progress in the settlements of Chornukhine and Troitske - close to the administrative boundaries of Donetsk region - with the use of artillery, Grad MLRSs, mortars and tanks.
Breathing spells are used to repair ruined life-supporting infrastructure, Moskal reports.
Poroshenko reminded the USA about providing defensive weapons
President Poroshenko called on the USA to implement its previous statements on providing Ukraine with means for strengthening its defensive capacity.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko told U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on the phone that insurgents were not observing the ceasefire in Donbas, the press service said.
Poroshenko insisted on taking immediate actions to stop the escalation of the crisis and the disruption of the Minsk agreements, it said.
"He also urged the U.S. to put into practice previous statements on providing Ukraine with additional resources in order to reinforce its defensive capability," it added.
Biden assured Poroshenko of U.S. support and agreed to coordinate actions between Ukraine, the U.S., Germany, and France and also within the UN and OSCE.
Amnesty International: The current political system is not able to investigate the crimes committed on the Maidan
A deeply imbedded culture of impunity, lack of expertise and in some cases, deliberate obstruction, are denying justice to the hundreds of victims of police abuses during the EuroMaydan protests in Ukraine, says Amnesty International in a new briefing on the first anniversary of the protest.
“The deplorable lack of progress in delivering justice for those killed, injured and tortured exposes once again the deep failings of the Ukrainian criminal justice system,” John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International’s Director of Europe and Central Asia said.
“The failure to address the widespread abuses during the EuroMaydan protests risks entrenching a long-standing culture of impunity for police officers. Justice needs to be delivered, not just for those killed, but also for the many more that were ill-treated.”
What started in November 2013 as a peaceful protest against the government’s refusal to sign an association agreement with the EU evolved into a mass protest against the government itself with violent confrontations between demonstrators and security forces.
According to the Ministry of Health, 105 people died as a result of the protest, including at least 13 police officers.
Amnesty International documented numerous cases of unlawful use of force, including killings and torture during the demonstrations. It has repeatedly submitted the details of cases of arbitrary and excessive use of force to the Ukrainian authorities, but has not yet seen demonstrable progress in any of the cases it has been following.
To date, only two low-ranking officers have been convicted after being caught on camera forcing a man to stand naked in sub-zero temperatures in public. They were given suspended sentences of three and two years for “exceeding authority or official powers”. Several other police officers involved in the ill-treatment escaped indictment.
Poroshenko: ATO forces almost withdrawn from Debaltseve
Ukrainian military are completing an operation of withdrawing Ukrainian divisions from Debaltseve, President Poroshenko said at the airport before his departure to the ATO area on Wednesday at noon.
According to him, "80% of the units have been withdrawn". "We are expecting two other columns," Poroshenko said.
According to the president, the Armed Forces of Ukraine completely accomplished tasks they had been given in this ATO area.
"That position and our military achievements were critical in the Minsk talks and later. We have managed to show the world the real face of bandits and separatists backed by Russia, which acted as guarantor and direct participant in the Minsk talks," Poroshenko stressed.
The head of state denied the allegations that the town of Debaltseve was encircled, and Ukrainian servicemen suffered massive losses.
“The major part of Ukrainian servicemen "has already crossed over the bridges, and commanding officers are currently working with them".
According to the president, "this is a speaking proof of Ukrainian army's fighting efficiency and effectiveness of our military command". "We have information that, in spite of harsh artillery fire, 30 of 2000 thousand servicemen deployed in the area were wounded," Poroshenko said adding that that was only preliminary data and further information would be ascertained.