Ukrainian military says pro-Russians violated ceasefire

Ukrainian military says pro-Russians violated ceasefire

Wed Dec 10, 2014 12:26AM GMT

Ukraine’s military has accused pro-Russians of violating a ceasefire in the country’s eastern regions aimed at preparing the ground for a fresh round of peace talks.

According to Ukrainian government forces on Tuesday, pro-Russian forces had shelled military positions near the Donetsk airport despite a truce in the region.

“Not having any idea of observing the agreements, the rebels employed light weapons, mortars and artillery, and armored tanks in residential areas,” a Ukrainian military statement said.

The pro-Russian forces deny breaking the ceasefire, referred to as “Day of Silence”.

Ukraine and the pro-Russians agreed on December 9 to stop fighting across the eastern conflict zone under the terms of a Kremlin-brokered ceasefire.

The two mainly Russian-speaking regions of Donetsk and Lugansk have been the scene of deadly clashes between the pro-Russians and the Ukrainian army since Kiev’s military operation started in mid-April in a bid to crush pro-Moscow protests.

Violence intensified in May after the two flashpoint regions held local referendums in which their residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence from Ukraine and joining the Russian Federation.

Some 4,300 people have reportedly lost their lives in eight months of deadly conflict in eastern Ukraine.

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