There are reports describing intense fighting in the Ukrainian region Donetsk, two days before the planned truce that was agreed upon during the marathon talk that ended on Thursday, Feb.13. More than 27 civilians and soldiers were killed in this recent attack. This further increases the total number of victims which up until now is estimated at 5,480.
It seems pro-Russian separatists are speeding things up in an attempt to gain more power before truce settled on Thursday at Minsk between the leaders of Germany, France, Ukraine and Russia is established on Sunday at the stroke of midnight.
Russia has already been warned by German Chancellor Angela Merkel that new sanctions will be applied if the shelling doesn’t stop. Ukraine and Eastern Europe are blaming Russia to have begun this whole conflict by providing the pro-Russian rebels that are fighting in Kiev with arms and troops. Moscow, however, denies having any implications.
Ukraine also accusing Russia of having sent 50 more tanks across the border during the 17-hours peace talk that took place at Minks, the capital of Belarus.
Petro Mekhed, Ukraine’s deputy defense minister stated that the rebels are trying to take over the Debaltseve railway hub, a region of strategic importance that is close to the Mariupol port, where intense fighting has taken place recently. The defense minister also added that “Ukraine is expecting an escalation and taking all necessary measures to be able to respond.”
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is also holding the defensive, saying that “Nobody is absolutely certain that the conditions for peace signed in Minsk will be fulfilled.”
The leaders of the pro-Russian rebel groups (which by many are seen as puppets under Russian administration) have stated that the new deal brings hope of peace but also warned Europe that is the treaty fails, they will no longer accept any other negotiation attempts.
This conflict has generated tensions between Eastern and Western European regions that haven’t been seen since the Cold War. This new peace treaty brings some hope although many are skeptic and presume this new agreement will collapse just like the previous one.
Image Source: Euro Politics