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Iran Press TV

Pro-Russians violated truce 50 times in 24 hours: Kiev

Iran Press TV

Fri Feb 20, 2015 10:47AM

The Ukrainian military claims pro-Russian forces have launched nearly 50 attacks on its positions in the country's restive eastern region over the past day despite a recent ceasefire deal.

On Friday, Lieutenant Colonel Anatoliy Stelmakh said the Kurakhovo village, located west of the eastern Donetsk region, and the village of Berdyansk near the port city of Mariupol came under attack 50 times by pro-Moscow forces.

Stelmakh added that Kurakhovo had been hit with fire from Grad rockets, while Berdyansk was targeted with artillery and mortar fire.

This comes a day after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko warned that Kiev and the European Union would react to any violation of the truce deal.

The new ceasefire agreement, endorsed by the leaders of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine last week, called for a withdrawal of heavy armaments as the initial step toward a political settlement of the Ukrainian conflict.

After the deal was signed, pro-Moscow forces reported the death of at least six people as a result of the recent shelling in the city of Donetsk and the town of Horlivka in Ukraine's east, accusing government forces of targeting the area with artillery fire.

There were also reports of a fresh offensive by Kiev's forces near Mariupol in an area that lies between the militant-held eastern regions and the southern Crimea peninsula.

Earlier this week, Ukrainian forces withdrew from the strategic eastern town of Debaltseve following fierce clashes with pro-Russian forces. The town connects Donetsk and Lugansk, the strongholds of the pro-Russia forces in eastern Ukraine.

The pro-Russians say they had offered the Ukrainian military forces a chance to give in before they gained control of the town.

The two mainly Russian-speaking regions Donetsk and Lugansk in eastern Ukraine have been the scene of deadly clashes between pro-Russians and the Ukrainian army since Kiev launched military operations against the pro-Russians in April 2014.

Violence intensified a month later after the two flashpoint regions held local referendums in which their residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence from Ukraine.

Nearly 5,700 people have been killed and close to a million have been displaced since the armed conflict began in eastern Ukraine in April 2014.

SZH/MKA/HMV



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