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LUGANSK, June 29 /ITAR-TASS/. Combat actions in east Ukraine will only intensify after the truce comes to an end on Monday, head of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic Valery Bolotov said on Sunday.
Kiev’s unilaterally-proclaimed seven-day ceasefire regime expired at 23:00 Moscow time on Friday, June 27. President Pyotr Poroshenko extended it until 22:00 local time (23:00 Moscow time) on Monday, June 30. However, armed clashes between Ukraine’s military and local self-defense forces in east Ukraine have continued, despite the declared ceasefire.
“There has been no ceasefire and so tomorrow combat operations can only be expected to intensify,” Bolotov said.
The head of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic accused the Ukrainian military of breaching the truce.
“On our part, we are observing the terms of the ceasefire while the opposite side is not fulfilling them,” Bolotov said.
“Aircraft are flying over Lugansk and the Ukrainian military are relocating combat hardware and personnel and shelling the territory.”
Negotiations with pro-Kiev forces “are impossible until they pull back troops,” Bolotov said.
The head of the Lugansk People’s Republic also pointed to an armed clash between fighters of the National Guard and the Ukrainian military near Lugansk earlier on Sunday. .
“They are constantly conflicting and soldiers are constantly running away from them. The number of deserters sometimes reaches 200,” Bolotov said.
The press-office of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic reported on Sunday that Kiev’s military had shelled the village of Semyonovka and the city of Sloviansk in the eastern Donetsk Region, killing several civilians.
Kiev’s punitive operation against federalization supporters in Ukraine’s east involving armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation has killed hundreds of people, including civilians, left buildings destroyed and damaged and forced tens of thousands to cross the border from Ukraine to Russia.