Separatist leader warns fighting in E. Ukraine could escalate

Alexandr Zakharchenko says Ukrainian army is unwilling to continue a diplomatic dialogue with separatists

Separatist leader warns fighting in E. Ukraine could escalate

World Bulletin / News Desk

The leader of the Russia-backed insurgents in eastern Ukraine said that fighting between separatists forces and the Ukrainian government army could escalate in the near future.

"There is a number of indirect indications that a new round of hostilities may begin," Alexandr Zakharchenko told reporters during a media briefing in Donetsk.

Zakharchenko said the government army is dragging the peace process and is unwilling to continue a diplomatic dialogue with separatists when they are ready to repeal a possible attack.

However, government military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said the situation in the combat areas in Lugansk and Donetsk regions has deteriorated as the separatists launched 106 attacks against Ukrainian positions, in which heavy artillery was used despite the ceasefire agreement signed several months earlier in Belarus' capital Minsk.

Over the past 24 hours, two government soldiers were killed and seven others wounded in the violence in the restive regions, the spokesman added.

Starting in April 2014, the conflict in eastern Ukraine has claimed the lives of more than 6,800 and wounded almost 17,100, according to the latest United Nations estimates.

The intensity of hostilities has eased since mid-February, when a peace agreement between two sides was signed.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 08 Ağustos 2015, 11:29
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