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Provocations in Donbass, Ukraine

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The Ukrainian town of Avdiivka located on the demarcation line in the Donetsk region has been under attack since Sunday. Water and power supplies were reportedly cut off in the town on Monday, reported Sputnik News.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier Tuesday that Moscow had reliable data that the Ukrainian independent armed groups, supported by the Ukrainian Armed Forces' artillery, were behind the attack on Avdiivka.

"We urge the Ukrainian authorities to immediately stop armed provocations in Donbass, comply with the existing agreements on a ceasefire and finally begin the responsible implementation of all the provisions of the Minsk Package of Measures, including those relating to the political aspects of the existing problems," the ministry said.
"The southeast of Ukraine, which is already suffering due to the economic blockade on the part of Kiev, is again on the verge of a real humanitarian and environmental disaster," the statement said.
Moscow expects the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Ukraine to make quick steps for a speedy de-escalation of the situation in Donbass, and hopes that Ukraine's partners will exert influence on Kiev.

"We hope that Ukraine's partners will exert due influence on Kiev to make it give up attempts of taking military revenge in Donbass and putting an end to the Minsk agreements."
"We expect quick steps on the part of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine to de-escalate the situation as soon as possible."

Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) Ertugrul Apakan noted, in particular, that there had been damage to the water filtration plant in Yasynuvata, upon which thousands of people on both sides of the contact line depend for heating, electricity and water, reported UNIAN.

"Escalation in the area is of grave concern, with the civilian population greatly suffering. Violence on such a scale, involving the loss of life, is unacceptable and the protection of civilians must be paramount," the OSCE SMM quoted Apakan as saying said.

The Avdiyivka-Yasynuvata-Donetsk airport triangle has long been a focus of fighting. The latest developments – with the OSCE SMM recording thousands of ceasefire violations on a daily basis, including the use of proscribed weapons – constitute a serious deterioration and a violation of the Minsk agreements.
Apakan called on the sides to immediately cease fire and withdraw such weapons beyond agreed lines. He urged the sides to prioritize the protection of the civilian population.

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