Ukraine’s Poroshenko discontinued his visit to Germany over hostilities
Ukrainian president Pyotr Poroshenko has cut short his official visit to Germany in response to a new outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine’s east.
He is returning to Ukraine to oversee the government’s effort aimed at preventing a humanitarian catastrophe in the town of Avdeyevka near Donetsk that has been under gunfire from the pro-Russia insurgency over the past several days, deputy head of the presidential administration said.
As of now, president Poroshenko has ordered that emergency service stations and warming shelters be set up throughout the area, power generators provided to local social care services, and arrangements made for a meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group [a group of representatives from Ukraine, Russia and OSCE that was formed as means to facilitate a diplomatic resolution to the war in the Donbass region of Ukraine].
Insurgents attacked Avdeyevka with Grad missiles again last night, causing power and heating system failures in the town, the spokesperson for the anti-insurgency operation reported.
Three Ukrainian soldiers were killed and 20 more wounded in the January 30 attacks. One resident of Avdeyevka was injured too.
In their turn, the insurgents accuse their opponents, the Ukrainian military, of having provoked the escalation which they say has left one civilian dead and the whole town of Yasinovataya blacked out.
President Poroshenko has urged Ukrainian diplomats abroad to inform the UN Security Council and OSCE about the Avdeyevka emergency, the country’s foreign minister Pavel Klimkin said. His ministry has put the blame for the escalation on Russia and called on Moscow to respect the ceasefire.
The hostilities in Ukraine’s east claimed the lives of about 9,500 people between the 2014 spring and September 2016, according to the UN. A ceasefire based on the Minsk Agreements is currently in place in the conflict zone, prohibiting, inter alia, use of heavy weaponry by the conflicting sides. Russia has denied its involvement in the conflict.