United Nations urges immediate halt to hostilities in eastern Ukraine

01 February, 2017, 01:23 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • Ukrainian servicemen stand in front of a makeshift memorial for their colleagues who died in this area near Avdiivka Donetsk region in 2015More

But Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov accused Ukrainian government troops of launching a deadly attack on Russian-backed separatists across the Avdiyivka front line on Monday as part of a ruse to draw attention away from domestic and other problems. The separatist Donetsk News Agency reported one civilian killed and three injured in Makiivka, North-East of Donetsk.

It said 24 other soldiers were wounded and that there were an unspecified number of civilian casualties.

Russian Federation has been slapped with sanctions from the West in response to its interference in eastern Ukraine, and annexation of Crimea.

Troops crossed the line of contact separating the two sides, showing Ukraine is unwilling to adhere to the peace deal, he told reporters on a conference call.

Measures are being taken to bring them to the surface, they said.

The U.S. State Department voiced concern about the spike in fighting and on Tuesday reaffirmed Washington's support for the full implementation of the peace deal.

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At least eight Ukrainian troops have died in the fighting and at least 25 have been injured, Reuters said in a report.

Monitors for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe say fighting around the town of Avdiyivka began to escalate last Saturday. The mine is notorious for poor safety standards; a methane blast there killed 33 people in 2015.

With elevators not working, the miners had been trapped underground for several hours before local authorities found the backup generators outside the mine to get the elevators working. At least 60 of 200 men have been able to get out.

Close to 10,000 people have been killed since fighting between Ukrainian troops and rebels seeking independence from Kiev first erupted in April 2014, according to United Nations figures.

Both the separatists and the Ukrainian government could stand to benefit from an escalation in the east, Kiev-based independent political analyst Vadim Karasyov told the Associated Press. "For the Kremlin, it's important to show that it holds war and peace in its hands; if the new USA administration wants peace in Ukraine, it needs to offer something in return".

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