OREANDA-NEWS. The Ukrainian military have seized the Staromariyivka village on the line of contact in Donbas, hung a Ukrainian flag and dug trenches, the self-proclaimed Donetsk people's republic's representative in the contact group and head of the DNR Foreign Ministry, Nataliya Nikonorova, has said.

Earlier, media reported that the Ukrainian Armed Forces had occupied the village of Staromaryivka, which is located on the line of contact in the Telmanovskyy district. Later, the DNR authorities said that more than 30 residents of Staromaryevka were citizens of the Russian Federation. In its turn, the press centre of the 93rd brigade of the Ukrainian security forces "Kholodny Yar" denied information about taking control of the Staromaryevka village in Donbass.

"Ukrainian armed formations have de facto taken control of this settlement, although it was in the 'grey zone', was demilitarized and was neither under the control of the AFU nor under the control of the DNR People's Militia. But now Ukrainian armed formations have advanced, in fact, captured Staromaryevka, hung a Ukrainian flag there, erected new fortifications, equipped trenches,"- Nikonorova explained in an interview.

The Ukrainian authorities launched a military operation against the self-proclaimed LPR and DPR in April 2014. The reason for the conflict was the non-recognition by the residents of the republics of the coup d'état in Kiev. The Ukrainian authorities called the military action against their citizens an "antiterrorist operation". According to the latest UN data, some 13,000 people became victims of the conflict.

Earlier, Radio Sputnik reported that Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova accused Kiev of deliberately escalating the conflict in Donbas.