The situation has been deteriorating in southeastern Ukraine as of late.
Despite the ceasefire declared in accordance with the Minsk agreements, the Ukrainian military have increased their shelling of the Donetsk and Lugansk proclaimed people’s republics many times over, using all kinds of weapons. As a result, civilians continue to die and sustain injuries of varying severity, and residential houses and social infrastructure facilities are being destroyed.
The shelling is focused on the districts of Donetsk, the Donetsk Airport, as well as towns, such as Spartak, Gorlovka and Debaltsevo, to name a few.
Information continues to come in regarding numerous cases of the armed forces of Ukraine building up their heavy weapons, in violation of the agreements to withdraw them along the demarcation line. The details of such violations are put on record, including by the OSCE observers.
Having refused to pull back tanks and artillery up to 100 mm and mortars up to 120 mm 15 km away from the contact line on each side, which was agreed within the Contact Group, Kiev has not only begun to return and use heavy artillery and missile systems in the conflict zone, but has also launched a rigorous propaganda campaign blaming the militias for the deteriorating situation.
Ukraine's current bellicose rhetoric, encouraged by a number of its foreign patrons, causes major concern and clearly demonstrates the intention to get public opinion ready for another attempt to resolve the Ukraine crisis militarily.
In these circumstances, all the responsibility for the negative consequences of such provocative actions will lie with the current Ukrainian authorities.
We urge the Ukrainian side to stop escalating tensions and to comply with the agreements for seeking a peaceful political resolution to the crisis in conjunction with representatives of Donetsk and Lugansk, as outlined in the Package of Measures to implement the Minsk agreements dated February 12, 2015.