Tensions Raise in Eastern Ukraine

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The new ceasefire in the Donbass has been violated by the Ukrainian Armed Forces more than 80 times over the past day.

Tensions Raise in Eastern Ukraine

Photo: Ukrainian Defense Ministry

The Ukrainian Armed Forces more than 80 times violated the ceasefire in the Donbass over the past day, the RIA Novosti news agency reported, citing a spokesman for the Defense Ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR).

“Over the past day, the Ukrainian Armed Forces violated the ceasefire regime 86 times. In total, 28 settlements of the republic were shelled by the Ukrainian Armed Forces, which used heavy artillery of 152-mm and 122-mm calibers, tanks, mortars, as well as armaments of infantry combat vehicles and armored fighting vehicles. In addition, grenade launchers, anti-aircraft guns and small arms [were also used],” the spokesman said.

A representative of the DPR Defense Ministry also noted that as a result of artillery shelling, one house in Petrovsky district of Donetsk city, a house and a school building in Dzerzhinskoye village, located in the south, as well as one house in Yasinovataya were damaged.

“Already after the midnight we spotted shelling of our positions, the enemy used small arms, and a mortar shell was fired,” the spokesman added.

Earlier, another representative of the DPR Defense Ministry also reported that the Ukrainian security forces repeatedly violated the ceasefire in the Donbass during the night. “The ceasefire has been violated by the Ukrainian side multiple times,” he said.

A spokesperson of the People’s Militia of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) also noted that the violation was registered less than two hours after the new ceasefire came into force. “At 1:20 am mortar shelling was registered (88-mm caliber),” the spokesperson said on Saturday morning, adding that in total, 29 shots were made.

Meanwhile, according to a statement of the press service of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, issued on Saturday, since the midnight, when the new ceasefire agreement came into force, the People’s militia 10 times violated the regime of quiet in the Donbass.

“Despite the agreements on a ceasefire along the entire front line since the midnight of April 1, reached by the tripartite contact group on 29 March 2017, troops [of the People’s Militia] 10 times violated the regime of quiet, using mainly small arms,” the statement reads.

At the same time, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry stressed that the Ukrainian Armed Forces strictly observe the ceasefire.

Meanwhile, during a briefing on Saturday, official spokesman for the ministry, Andrei Lysenko, said that ten Ukrainian soldiers were injured as a result of fighting in the Donbas over the past day.

“Over the past day, as a result of fighting, there were no killed [soldiers] in the ranks of Ukrainian troops, but ten servicemen were wounded, two of them are servicemen of the Ukrainian National Guard, the rest are members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces,” Lysenko said.

He also added that a Ukrainian serviceman, who was seriously wounded in the head in the enemy shelling in Marinka on March 12, died in a hospital.

On Wednesday, at a meeting in Minsk, the contact group for Ukraine agreed a complete ceasefire in the Donbass since the Saturday midnight. The People’s Militia of the DPR and the LPR said that it intended to adhere to the regime of quiet, announced since April 1. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko also instructed the leadership of the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the country’s Defense Ministry to observe the ceasefire in the Donbass since April 1.

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  • Jonathan Cohen

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