New Shelling Risks Questionable Cease-Fire in Eastern Ukraine
Early Sunday explosions in Eastern Ukraine could mean an already-fragile cease-fire is soon over.
The cease-fire signed two days ago between Ukraine and Russia is at risk of collapse — if it hasn't already done so — after one woman was killed in shelling in the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, sparking more blasts near the Donetsk airport in eastern Ukraine early Sunday.
According to the Ukrainian national security council, rebels attempted an attack on the government-controlled airport, which led to shelling of the positions pro-Russian separatists in and around Donetsk.
"They, terrorists, Russians, are trying to scare us. They have no respect for the ceasefire. They are lying all the time. They are people with no honour," Slavik, a Ukrainian soldier armed with a machine-gun, told Reuters.
However, a rebel statement said Ukrainian forces violated the cease-fire by firing on their positions in which several rebels have been killed.
"As far as I know, the Ukrainian side is not observing the ceasefire. We have wounded on our side at various points. We are observing the ceasefire," said Vladimir Antyufeyev, deputy premier of the self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic."
Paula Slier, the Middle East Bureau Chief for the state-sponsored Russia Today posted a rapid stream of tweets Sunday from the ground in Donetsk, saying that the cease-fire is well over.
Ceasefire definitely NOT HOLDING here in #Spartak and other areas surrounding #Donetsk airport— PaulaSlier_RT (@PaulaSlier_RT) September 7, 2014
Commander is ordering us out - says more shelling is likely and it's dangerous to be around house that is falling apart— PaulaSlier_RT (@PaulaSlier_RT) September 7, 2014
On Saturday, the presidents of Ukraine and Russia said the ceasefire was mostly holding. A statement from the office of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, said he and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed steps "for giving the ceasefire a stable character'' in a telephone conversation.