Kiev shells Donbas with mortars banned by Minsk accord: Donetsk and Lugansk
OSCE SMM reported 222 ceasefire violations in Ukraine's Donetsk area and 648 in the Lugansk region in the last 24 hours.
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe's Special Monitoring Mission (OSCE SMM) reported 222 ceasefire violations in Ukraine's Donetsk area and 648 in the Lugansk region in the last 24 hours.
On its part, the DPR Ministry of Emergency Situations said on Saturday that Donetsk has already evacuated 6,600 people, including nearly 2,500 children, over a dramatic escalation of tensions with Ukraine.
"As of 06:30 [04:30 GMT] on February 19, 2022, the number of evacuated people amounted to 6,603, of which 2,436 were children," the ministry said.
The ministry also stated that life support points for the evacuated population had been deployed at checkpoints like Uspenka, Marynivka, Ulyanovsk, and Novoazovsk.
"We have to note that at the checkpoints, in addition to hot meals, citizens are also provided with psychological and medical assistance," the ministry added.
Since 2014, the conflict in Donbas has raged between Ukraine's government and the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.
In February 2015, the leaders of France, Germany, Russia, and Ukraine — the Normandy group — negotiated the Minsk agreements, which aimed to find a political solution to the war. The agreement has yet to be executed, and there are still intermittent conflicts. Moscow has consistently warned that Kiev is failing to implement the Minsk agreements and is postponing peace talks.
It is worth mentioning that several Western countries have accused Russia in recent months of preparing an invasion of Ukraine, based on allegations that Russia has increased the number of its soldiers in areas near the Ukrainian border to 125,000 people.
For its part, Moscow rejects all these accusations, noting that the transfer of its forces in its territory is an internal matter.