VIENNA, December 14. /TASS/. More than 2,000 ceasefire violations were registered in East Ukraine in the past week, and the Kiev government forces are responsible for most of them, Russia’s OSCE envoy Alexander Lukashevich has said.
"Analysis of reports by the Special Monitoring Misison (SMM) of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) demonstrates that tensions have intensified," Lukashevich told a session of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Permanent Council in Vienna on Thursday evening. "In the past week, more than 2,000 ceasefire violations were documented. In most cases, the direction of fire suggests that the Ukrainian Armed Forces are responsible."
A civilian was injured in the village of Krasny Partizan, and a house was damaged in the village of Mikhailovka as a result of those ceasefire violations, the Russian diplomat said.
"Attack forces of the Ukrainian military have been deployed near the line of contact, including Uragan and Grad multiple-launch rocket systems, Buk and S-300 air defense systems and large-caliber artillery. Less than a month ago, the headquarters of the unified forces operation reported about air force drills to practice attacks on ground targets. Only between December 1 and 7, OSCE observers detected more than 190 pieces of heavy weaponry and equipment, prohibited by the Minsk agreements, deployed in zones outside the permitted areas of storage," Lukashevich continued.
"With the purpose of de-escalation, we urge OSCE representatives to press for implementation of the New Year ceasefire agreement on December 22, as agreed at a Contact Group meeting on December 2, and to give consent to additional measures to improve security. It is of crucial importance to complete the disengagement of forces in Stanitsa Luganskaya and return to the status quo in areas in Petrovskoye and Zolotoye, occupied by the Ukrainian Armed Forces," he said.
On December 4, Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in Ukraine Martin Sajdik expressed hope that members of the Contact Group for Ukraine would agree on a so-called Christmas ceasefire.
Since the outbreak of hostilities in Donbass in 2014, the sides have reached more than 20 ceasefire agreements. The most successful of them was the 2016 ceasefire, when the lull lasted for six weeks.
Earlier, the Contact Group seeking peace in eastern Ukraine agreed on a ‘back-to-school ceasefire’, which came into force at midnight on August 29. Nevertheless, the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) reported that the Ukrainian military breached the agreement by shelling the outskirts of Gorlovka three hours after the ceasefire had become effective. To date, no sustainable truce has been achieved in the region.