Fighting in Debaltsevo threatens ceasefire in Ukraine

The new ceasefire in Eastern Ukraine, which went into effect at midnight on Sunday, Feb. 15, is becoming ever more fragile as the situation around the town of Debaltsevo continues to deteriorate.

Just before the ceasefire officially began, self-proclaimed leader of the Donetsk People’s Republic Alexander Zakharchenko said that the ceasefire would not apply to the town of Debaltsevo, where fighting had escalated in days following the Minsk agreement.

The press center of the Ukraine’s army posted a notice on its website on Monday that read: In the past 24 hours, the militants attacked Debaltsevo 88 times and populated localities nearby; they were using practically every type of weapons.”

The press center also reported the activity of drones controlled by separatists militias along the front lines near Debaltsevo and Donetsk.

The Donetsk People’s Republic has also accused the Ukrainian Army of violating the truce.

DPR representative Eduard Basurin told reporters “Twenty-seven violations of the ceasefire regime have been recorded over the past 24 hours, including bombardments of Donetsk and Horlivka,"

The current ceasefire agreement, concluded after marathon talks in Minsk last week, calls for a complete ceasefire as of midnight Feb. 15 followed by the withdrawal of heavy armament and the creation of a security zone between the conflicting sides.

Other details regarding the status of the breakaway regions within Ukraine and the border between Ukraine and Russia must still be determined.

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