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Kiev Launches Large-Scale Offensive on Donetsk Militia Positions

Sputnik News

20:26 07.02.2015(updated 22:32 07.02.2015)

Ukrainian troops attempted to launch a large-scale attack along the entire length of the separation line with the units of Donetsk People's Republic army, according to Eduard Basurin, deputy head of the DPR militia.

DONETSK (Sputnik) – Kiev-led forces attempted on Saturday to launch a large-scale offensive against the armed militia from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) along the entire length of the separation line, a senior DPR official told RIA Novosti.

'Since the end of the [temporary] ceasefire late on February 6, the Ukrainian troops attempted to launch a large-scale attack along the entire length of the separation line with the units of DPR army,' Eduard Basurin, deputy head of the DPR militia, said.

Basurin stressed that Kiev, while pretending to carry out peace negotiations, in reality attempts to push Donetsk militia deeper into the DPR territory in order to ensure future operational advantages.

Earlier in the week, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) called for a temporary ceasefire around the town of Debaltsevo to allow for the evacuation of civilians – an initiative supported by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Debaltsevo, which is located on the border between Ukraine's two breakaway regions, has recently become the scene of heavy fighting between the Ukrainian troops and the local militia.

On Thursday, DPR authorities offered a full-fledged ceasefire in the area. Kiev accepted the offer and a temporary truce came into power Friday morning. However, Ukrainian volunteer battalions continued shelling around Debaltsevo, media reports said.

On Friday afternoon, the DPR militia stated that the evacuation had been cut short, blaming Kiev of failing to comply with the truce deal.

The armed conflict in Ukraine's eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk has been raging since April, when Kiev-led forces launched a military operation against the region's independence supporters who opposed Ukraine's post-coup government.

Despite the signing of a ceasefire agreement between Kiev and pro-independence militia in September 2014, fighting has continued in Donbas, intensifying greatly in the first weeks of 2015.

The two warring sides have traded blame for the recent string of shelling attacks in eastern Ukraine. The last round of peace negotiations, held in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, on January 31, failed to yield results.


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