Russia has accused the Ukrainian government of breaching a peace accord aimed at putting an end to heavy clashes in Ukraine’s eastern parts.
“It is obvious today that these agreements have been crudely violated by the Ukrainian side,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement released on Thursday.
Kiev and pro-Russia forces inked a truce agreement proposed by Moscow in the Belarusian capital city of Minsk on September 5 in a move to put an end to heavy clashes in Ukraine’s eastern provinces. Fighting, however, continues in these regions despite the ceasefire deal.
Ukrainian authorities have intensified their military campaign against pro-Moscow activists instead of trying to deescalate tensions in the country’s restive areas, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s statement added.
It went on to note that the growing hostilities, in which heavy equipment are used, have led to “thousands of casualties and large-scale destruction” in Ukraine’s eastern parts.
Tensions have been running high since November 2, when leadership and local parliamentary elections were held in Donetsk and Lugansk regions, despite condemnation from Kiev and the West that such a move would undermine peace efforts in Ukraine.
Ukraine’s mainly Russian-speaking areas in the east have witnessed deadly clashes between pro-Moscow forces and the Ukrainian army since Kiev launched military operations to silence pro-Russians in mid-April.
Violence intensified in May after Donetsk and Lugansk regions held local referendums, in which their residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence from Ukraine.