Eastern Ukraine village comes under army’s intense shelling
The Ukrainian army has intensely shelled the eastern village of Sakhanka in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) despite a ceasefire in the region, local sources say.
“The Ukrainian army is currently shelling Sakhanka. As a result of shelling, a residential building in the northern part of the village has been nearly ruined. The house owner narrowly escaped death,” the Donetsk News Agency quoted Alexander Pelipa, a local official, as saying on Sunday.
Earlier, DPR Defense Ministry spokesman Eduard Basurin said Ukrainian military forces violated the fragile ceasefire in the region 57 times on Sunday.
“The situation in Donetsk… is complicated. Intensity of fire on the part of the Ukrainian army has increased,” Basurin said.
This comes as Ukraine’s military spokesman Andy Lysinko said on Sunday that “a Ukrainian soldier was killed and six others wounded over the last 24 hours” by pro-Russia forces fighting Kiev in the eastern part of the crisis-hit country.
During peace talks in the Belarusian capital city of Minsk on February 11-12, the leaders of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine reached a deal, dubbed Minsk II, on the withdrawal of heavy weapons from Ukraine’s front lines and a ceasefire, which officially went into effect on February 14. The two sides, however, have continued to engage in sporadic clashes.
Back in September 2014, the representatives of Ukraine, Russia, and the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk had signed another ceasefire deal in Minsk. However, the truce was violated on an almost daily basis by both the Ukrainian military and the pro-Russia forces.
Donetsk and Luhansk are two mainly Russian-speaking regions in eastern Ukraine, which have been hit by deadly clashes between pro-Russia forces and the Ukrainian army since Kiev launched military operations in April last year to crush pro-Russia protests there.
More than 6,000 people have died in Ukraine’s conflict, the UN says. Around 1.5 million people have also been forced to flee their homes over the past months of the turmoil.