EU and OSCE note unprecedented violence escalation in Donbas

Ukrainian army shooting back at Russia-backed militants in Avdiivka, Donetsk Oblast. April 2016. Source: YouTube

Ukrainian army shooting back at Russia-backed militants in Avdiivka, Donetsk Oblast. April 2016. Source: YouTube 

News, Ukraine, War in the Donbas

The EU External Action notes a significant increase in ceasefire violations in Donbas, Ukraine. The number of violationas has reached an unprecedented level since the peace agreements of 2015, the Statement by the Spokesperson on the latest developments in eastern Ukraine says.

“A sustainable ceasefire is urgently needed, not least to ensure progress at last in implementing the political obligations from the Minsk agreements,” the EU states.

The European Union has also condemned recent incidents of targeting the OSCE SMM monitors. “We back the call by Special Representative of the Federal Government of Germany for the OSCE Chairmanship, Gernot Erler, and urge all sides to take steps to de-escalate the situation and to fully honour their commitments.”

On 9 April the OSCE reported that a team of its monitors in eastern Ukraine had come under fire 50 kilometers south of Donetsk. Earlier on 7 April another monitoring group was threatened at gunpoint by a Russia-backed militant, forcing the observers to leave a checkpoint they needed to pass.

Ertugrul Apakan, the chief monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine, said the mission registered a record number of ceasefire violations in  Donetsk region on Thursday since the sides agreed on a ceasefire in September 2015.

As the Ukrainian military said on 11 April, six Ukrainian soldiers have been injured in the armed conflict zone in eastern Ukraine in the past 24 hours.

On the Luhansk direction, the illegal armed groups violated the ceasefire near Schastia and Triokhizbenka, said Oleksandr Motuzianyk, a special operation spokesman for the Ukrainian presidential administration, at a briefing in Kyiv on Sunday.

On the Donetsk direction, the industrial zone of Avdiyivka remains the epicenter of fighting, with hostile shelling continuing non-stop. The enemy has amassed serious forces in Yasynuvata, Mineralne and Yakovlivka, and has attempted, unsuccessfully, to push the frontline to the west.

 

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