Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin has informed his German and French counterparts Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Laurent Fabius on a considerable escalation of the situation in Donbas in a telephone conversation on Monday evening.
Ukraine accused Russian-backed military on Monday of carrying out the heaviest artillery attacks on government positions in six months and warned of signs the conflict was escalating despite a ceasefire deal: 400 separatist fighters supported by tanks had attacked government forces around the village of Starohnativka, 50 km (30 miles) north of the Kyiv-held port city of Mariupol.
Russian-backed militants are organizing provocations that “are a deliberate attempt to torpedo the negotiations aimed at withdrawing arms smaller than 100 mm in caliber and at the de-escalation of the situation surrounding the village of Shyrokyne [near the Ukrainian-controlled city of Mariupol],” Interfax-Ukraine quotes Ukraine’s Foreign Minister as saying.
Furthermore, at the checkpoints of Ukrainian Armed Forces OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) observed evidence of recent shelling with artillery, the caliber of which is more than 100 mm, which is banned by the Minsk accords, reads the mission’s report as of 19:30 on August 9.
The leadership of the Ukrainian Armed Forces General Staff has informed the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Russia’s representatives to the Joint Center for Ceasefire Control and Coordination (JCCC), as well as Kyiv’s Western partners of Minsk peace deal breaches by the militants and has said that it retains the right to appropriately respond to such challenges, including with the help of fire-for-effect means.
www.belsat.eu/en/, via Interfax-Ukraine