OREANDA-NEWS. What is happening in Donbas resembles genocide. Russian President Vladimir Putin said this at a meeting of the Human Rights Council, TASS reported.

"What is happening now in Donbas, you and I see well, we know. This, of course, is very reminiscent of the genocide you mentioned,"- the head of state said, referring to Kirill Vyshinsky, executive director of the Rossiya Segodnya news agency.

According to the President, the first step towards genocide is Russophobia. "Here we need to act very carefully so as not to devalue these concepts," said the head of state. Putin stressed that each of these terms should reflect the realities of the emerging situation.

In early December, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Kiev had concentrated about 125,000 troops in the conflict zone in Donbas. The head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk people's republic (DNR), Denys Pushylin, then said that the situation in the east of Ukraine had deteriorated and described it as one of the most serious since 2014-2015. He pointed to the increase in the number of equipment and personnel and accused Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky of escalating the conflict. Pushylin added that the country's president had launched "hysteria".

Later, Zakharova said that Kiev was busy moving heavy artillery, to the line of contact in the east of the country, which the experts of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) registered. According to her, Ukraine has violated the ceasefire almost 90,000 times since it signed additional measures to strengthen the ceasefire last July.

The armed conflict in Donbas began in 2014. After that, representatives of Russia, Ukraine, the OSCE, and the unrecognized DNR and LNR concluded the Minsk agreements to resolve the conflict. A year later, Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France formalised a second package of Minsk agreements, which envisaged the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of contact, a ceasefire and the adoption of a law on the special status of Donbas. Kiev was then to regain control of the borders of the unrecognised republics and organise local elections.