The heavy fighting around Mariyinka, near Donetsk, yesterday in Eastern Ukraine constitutes the most serious violation of the ceasefire under the Minsk agreements since February. This escalation followed the movement of a large amount of heavy weapons towards the contact line by the Russia-backed separatists, as reported by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission. Renewed intense fighting risks unleashing a new spiral of violence and human suffering.
The ceasefire must be fully respected and all heavy weapons withdrawn and kept in storage sites open to regular verification by OSCE monitors. The implementation of the Minsk agreements, to which all sides have declared their commitment, can only succeed on the basis of such a ceasefire, permanent withdrawal of heavy weapons and regular monitoring and verification.