Pro-Russians have accused Ukrainian government forces of breaking the ceasefire deal just hours after it went into effect, pledging to pursue their independence drive in the east.
A leading member of the parliament established by the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic said on Saturday that Ukrainian units had launched several missiles toward the pro-Russian militants’ positions in the east after the ceasefire took effect at 6:00 pm (1500 GMT) on Friday.
“The ceasefire’s terms are not being observed,” Vladimir Makovich said, adding, “At 9:00 pm [on Friday], we saw several missiles launched on the outskirts of the city of Donetsk, and also a heavy armored column moving from the (neighboring southwestern region) of Zaporizhia.”
He emphasized that pro-Russian forces will pursue independence in the east.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council spokesman, Andriy Lysenko, accused pro-Russian militants of violating the ceasefire.
He said Ukrainian forces have come under attack on 28 occasions, 10 of them after the ceasefire.
The Ukrainian government and pro-Russia forces signed a 12-point pact on Friday in the Belarus capital, Minsk. The truce came into effect at 1500 GMT that day.
Ukraine’s mainly Russian-speaking regions in the east has been the scene of deadly clashes between pro-Russia protesters and the Ukrainian army since the government in Kiev launched military operations in mid-April in a bid to crush the protests.
Violence intensified in May after the two flashpoint regions of Donetsk and Lugansk held local referendums, in which their residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence from Ukraine.
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