Kiev Must Opt for True Ceasefire – Moscow
MOSCOW, July 1 (RIA Novosti) — Moscow is urging Kiev to refrain from attacking peaceful cities and villages and target a true ceasefire, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Tuesday.
"We demand the Ukrainian authorities refrain from striking peaceful cities and villages in its own country, and return to an actual and not an imaginary ceasefire in order to save the lives of people," the statement reads.
The ministry said that "crimes against the civilian population must be paid for."
The ministry noted, with regret, that the first hours after Kiev failed to extend the official ceasefire saw an increase in the number of civilian casualties.
The Ukrainian National Guard, after the previous ceasefire was called off, resumed the active phase of Kiev's military operation in the area of the Donetsk-Izvarino and Krasnopartizansky-Gukovo border control zones in Luhansk Region, following the respective announcement by Ukrainian parliament Speaker Oleksandr Turchynov. The head of Russia's Federal Customs Service, Andrei Belyaninov, confirmed the resumption of military activity in the region.
Turchynov's statement came after Kiev announced that the armed forces, national guard, border troops and security service are no longer restrained by the ceasefire.
Early on Tuesday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced his decision against further extending the ceasefire in east Ukraine, initially declared on June 20 as part of his 15-step peace plan.
Russia's envoy to the EU, Vladimir Chizhov, said Kiev's refusal to extend the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine is a "negative sign," inconsistent with the peace plan declared by President Poroshenko.
According to Poroshenko, the move to call off the ceasefire is dictated by the fact that protection of Ukraine's territorial integrity, safety and the lives of civilians require offensive as well as defensive action against independence supporters.
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