On February 19, Denis Pushylin, the Head of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR,) signed a decree on all-out mobilization. A similar decision was taken by Head of the Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) Leonid Pasechnik.
Pushilin appealed to “all the men of the republic” who are capable of bearing arms, “to rally to the defense” of their families, children, wives, and mothers. The Head of the DPR believes that the residents of Donbas will achieve the “desired and necessary” victory through joint efforts.
“I urge fellow countrymen who are in the reserve to come to the military commissariats,” Pushilin said in his video message.
After a similar decree was signed in the LPR, men from 18 to 55 years of age are prohibited from leaving the republic. Moreover, government agencies are now “allowed to requisition” transport and other property necessary for the needs of defense from enterprises, organizations, and citizens.
The situation in Donbas has come to a head. On the previous day, the security forces of the Donetsk People's Republic prevented several terrorist attacks by Ukrainian special services. The Ukrainian Armed Forces continue to shell DPR. As a result, a civilian born in 1938 was concussed in the village of Kominternovo.
Sabotage attack was not prevented in Luhansk. As a result, there were two explosions on February 18: one at a gas pipeline near Malaya Verhunka and the other at a gas filling station in the Kamennobrodsky district of the city. After the act of sabotage, some fires were extinguished. There were no reports of casualties.
The day before, the leaders of the DPR and LPR announced the temporary evacuation of the citizens to the Rostov Region due to the threat of invasion by the Ukrainian armed forces. It primarily affected women, children, and the elderly. As of the morning of February 19, 2022, 10,356 people had arrived from Donbas to Russia: 4,527 Russian citizens, 5,806 Ukrainian citizens, and 23 foreigners.
The Head of the Donetsk People's Republic, Denys Pushylin, believes that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will give a military order to launch an invasion of Donbas “soon.” Pushylin underlined that in recent days, the situation at the line of contact “seriously escalated,” and Kyiv “ignores all the agreements reached earlier.”
As a reminder, Ukraine has concentrated most of its army on the border with the DPR and LPR, and the shelling of the republics was not only continued but significantly intensified. Moreover, the firing also includes the use of prohibited weapons, in particular 102-mm artillery, but Ukraine claims that it intends to solve the problem in a “political and diplomatic way.”
Viktor Yatsutsenko, Deputy Minister for Civil Defense, Emergencies and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disasters of the Russian Federation, said that it is possible to accommodate LPR and DPR residents in the Moscow, Kursk, Voronezh, Belgorod, Oryol, and Bryansk Regions, as well as the Krasnodar Territory.
Meanwhile, the situation in Donbas continues to escalate. On February 19 at 4 a.m., a shell exploded in the Tarasovsky district of the Rostov Region, one kilometer from the state border between Russia and Ukraine. The explosion occurred 300 meters from one of the households in the village of Mityakinskaya. There were no casualties or damage as a result of the explosion. Nevertheless, one of the shells has already landed on the territory of the Russian Federation. Employees of law enforcement agencies are working at the site of the incident.