Briefly about the most important today's events in our digest of events
that have happened in Ukraine today
NATIONAL SECURITY Council approves an appeal for peacekeeping
Ukraine's National Security and Defence Council (NSDC) has approved an appeal to the United Nations and the European Union for deploying a peacekeeping mission in the eastern regions, Secretary of the NSDC Olexander Turchynov told journalists after a meeting of the NSDC.
NATIONAL SECURITY Council adopted a resolution on regrouping troops
The Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council (NSDC) has discussed measures for regrouping troops of the Armed Forces taking into consideration a new front line in the East of Ukraine, NSDC Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov stated.
The Cabinet and the Security Service of Ukraine were instructed to draft a document regarding state’s unitary system of prevention, reaction and cessation of terrorist acts and minimizing their consequences, he said.
"This system would have three threat levels – blue for heightened, orange for high and red for critical. It also offers the criteria for their identification and assessment and offers measures to be assumed by all bodies of the executive clerk establishment," Turchynov stated.
Linas Linkevičius called on states to help equip the Ukrainian army with arms
Lithuania has called on other states to help equip the Ukrainian army, which fights against Russia-backed separatists in the east of the country, Delfi.lt reported on Wednesday with a reference to Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius
The minister also added that Lithuania had been doing what it could to support the Ukrainian army, but did not specify what exactly he meant.
He stressed that Russia constantly supplied weapons to separatists in the east of Ukraine, even though it denied the fact publicly.
Linas Linkevičius asserted when commenting on the situation in Eastern Ukraine that provisions of the Minsk armistice had been violated, so there should be consequences." Still, he did not voice new sanctions against Russia.
UK Ministry of Defence: Putin can destabilize the Baltic States
There is a “real and present danger” that Vladimir Putin will launch a campaign of undercover attacks to destabilise the Baltic states on Nato’s eastern flank, the Defence Secretary has warned.
Michael Fallon said the Russian president may try to test NATO’s resolve with the same Kremlin-backed subversion used in Crimea and eastern Ukraine.
A murky campaign of infiltration, propaganda, undercover forces and cyber-attacks such as those used during early stages of the Ukrainian conflict could be used to inflame ethnic tensions in Estonia, Lithuania or Latvia, he said.
The military alliance must be prepared to repel Russian aggression “whatever form it takes”, Mr Fallon said, as he warned that tensions between the two were “warming up”.
The Defence Secretary spoke as Ukrainian troops were pulling out of the besieged town of Debaltseve on Wednesday after it had been stormed by pro-Russian rebels.
The retreat was a severe defeat for Ukrainian troops, who had been encircled in the strategically important town by rebel forces since last week. The European Union called it a “clear violation” of the Minsk peace plan.
Mr Fallon said: “It’s a very real and present danger. He was testing NATO all last year, if you look at the number of flights and the maritime activity.
A sharp increase in Russian defence spending is “clearly worrying”, he added.
“They are modernising their conventional forces, they are modernising their nuclear forces and they are testing NATO, so we need to respond.”
He went on: “There are lots of worries. I’m worried about Putin. There’s no effective control of the border, I’m worried about his pressure on the Baltics, the way he is testing NATO, the submarines and aircraft.”
Rebels violated the truce in Donbas 46 times within the past 24 hours
Rebels violated the truce in Donbas 46 times within the past 24 hours; the intensity of shelling has slightly decreased, a spokesman for the General Staff, Anatoly Stelmakh, reported at a briefing on Thursday morning.
Rebels fired 14 times with MLRSs, and 21 times with artillery and mortars.
In Donetsk region, insurgents shelled the village of Avdiivka 5 times, the village of Opytne 4 times, the village of Pisky and Vodyane twice each.
A military clash between ATO forces and terrorists occurred near the village of Pisky, Stelmakh said. In Lugansk region, the village of Krymske was attacked.
In addition, rebels intensified their activity in the Mariupol direction with primary efforts aimed at the village of Shyrokine: they fired at army positions with tanks and carried out 13 attacks on the village with artillery and mortars.
Gunmen attacked positions of ATO forces near Debaltseve 3 times within the past 24 hours.
Estonian President: The EU has adopted a wait-and-see approach, but should provide arms instead
At present, Europe has adopted a wait-and-see approach by refusing to overtly recognize the fiasco of Minsk 2. We have to face the truth instead and settle the issue of weapon supplies to Ukraine, Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves said in an interview with POS timees.
According to Mr Ilves, it is unclear for the time being whether the West would have a plan "B" in case the Minsk ceasefire deal is recognized as failed. Yet, the West opposes the idea of supplying arms to Ukraine.
"In my personal opinion, there is a need to back Ukraine in the first place by providing defensive weapons, namely radars and drones," the president stressed.
According to him, Europe has not assumed any measures, although the opposite side has new state-of-the-art combat systems at its disposal manned by people originated not from "the Donetsk mafia".
ATO Headquarters: 14 soldiers killed and 172 wounded in the past 24 hours in the ATO area
14 military died, and 172 others were wounded in the area of the anti-terrorist operation in the past 24 hours, a spokesman for the Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council, Andriy Lysenko, reported at a briefing on Thursday.
General Staff: 90 fighters have fallen prisoner near Debaltseve, and 82 others are missing
More than 90 Ukrainian military fell prisoner in fights for Debaltseve; it is unknown where 82 others are, the press-service of the General Staff reported on Thursday.
The General Staff is trying to find 82 soldiers at the moment, whose place of stay is unknown.