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WASHINGTON, February 1. /TASS/. The warring parties in eastern Ukraine should immediately resume ceasefire and allow access for the OSCE monitoring mission, US Department of State spokesman Mark Toner said.
"To avert a larger humanitarian crisis, we call for an immediate, sustained ceasefire and full and unfettered access for OSCE monitors. We also reaffirm U.S. support for full implementation of the Minsk agreements," Toner said in a statement released late Tuesday.
The spokesman added that Washington was "deeply concerned with the recent spike in violence in eastern Ukraine."
"Since January 28, the OSCE’s Special Monitoring Mission has reported a dramatic increase in fighting, including with heavy artillery and other weapons proscribed by the Minsk agreements," he said.
According to US figures, the fighting has caused dozens of Ukrainian military casualties and 10 civilian casualties. It has also left 17,000 civilians, including 2,500 children, without water, heat, or electricity.
In the past two days, armed clashes intensified near the town of Avdeyevka and the settlement of Yasinovataya close to the line separating the areas controlled by the Kiev government and the self-proclaimed republics of eastern Ukraine. The Kiev government blamed the eastern Ukrainian militia for the escalation of the conflict, and Poroshenko claimed he had to cut short his visit to Germany, although the official program of the journey was over by that time.
However, according to the military authorities of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, Ukrainian servicemen started their offense as early as Sunday evening, but had to withdraw to their initial positions due to fierce resistance.