Ukraine says separatists violated ceasefire within hours

epaselect epa08432101 Tatyana Lystopad, 57, weeps near the wall of her house, which was damaged by shrapnel of artillery shooting in pro-Russian militants controlled village of Staromihailovka, Donetsk area, Ukraine, 19 May 2020. Any direct negotiations with Russian-controlled militants are off the table. 'We only negotiate in the trilateral format: the TCG includes Russia, Ukraine, and the OSCE' assures Vice Prime Minister, Minister for Reintegration of Temporarily Occupied Territories, First Deputy Representative of Ukraine to the Trilateral Contact Group for the Donbas settlement, Oleksiy Reznikov on 18 May 2020. EPA-EFE/DAVE MUSTAINE

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A full and comprehensive ceasefire between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists that entered into force in eastern Ukraine on Monday has already been violated by separatists, Ukrainian military said.

Ukrainian, Russian and OSCE negotiators last week agreed on a full ceasefire in eastern Ukraine from Monday, putting on hold the military conflict that has claimed more than 13,000 lives since 2014.

“In the middle of the night, the enemy opened fire on the positions of Ukrainian soldiers from hand-held anti-tank grenade launchers and small arms, and … at noon they fired from automatic heavy-duty grenade launchers, heavy machine guns and small arms,” Ukrainian military said in a statement.

Ukrainian forces did not open fire in response, but on Sunday the defence ministry said in a statement that its forces “stand ready to give a proper rebuff to the enemy in case of violation of the agreements”.

The current ceasefire was backed by the presidents of Russia and Ukraine, Vladimir Putin and Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who agreed “the need for an urgent implementation of extra measures to support the ceasefire regime in Donbass”.

Via Reuters

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