Donetsk, Nov 16 – DAN. The statement of Ukrainian president Vladimir Zelensky on country's openness to the residents of Donbass is a mockery given the regular shelling and growing number of COVID-19 cases in Ukraine, said DPR Ombudswoman Daria Morozova.

Zelensky addressed Donbass residents through his newly-launched video blog using the Russian language saying that Ukraine is "open" for them. He said that Kiev does everything possible to put an end to "this thing that has been happening for the seventh year", that the war will end soon and that no checkpoints whatsoever will be needed.

"This is a blatant mockery. This is the only way I can describe Zelensky's address. Only ceasefire and adherence to the Minsk Agreements can prove Ukraine's openness and willingness to settle the conflict peacefully. Until then, all Kiev's statements are provocations and PR stance, which widen the gap between Donbass and Ukraine even further," Morozova said.

Ukraine announced last week that all the crossing points are open since November 10, though the initiative was unilateral and uncoordinated with the Republics.

"This step is fully reflective of Ukraine's intention to gratify us with their special attention. It is so humane to open border when the daily growth of COVID-19 numbers is over 12 thousand people. It is so thoughtful to let mothers with toddlers in to the grey zone knowing that the checkpoints do not operate on our side and other decision have not even been discussed," she said.

Elenovka checkpoint currently opens twice a week as a humanitarian corridor. Gnutovo, Novotroitskoye, Maryinka remain closed due to the pandemic.*ot