Published time: April 15, 2014 14:19
Edited time: June 21, 2014 10:57
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has promised a ceasefire, urging anti-government fighters to lay down their arms. Donbass militias are skeptical as hundreds have been killed and tens of thousands displaced in Kiev’s ongoing military campaign.
Monday, June 23
More than 40 children have been killed during the military campaign launched by Kiev in the Donbass Region, UNN reported, citing Tatiana Bakhteeva from Ukraine’s Party of the Regions.
“More than 40 children have died from shrapnel wounds,” she said, “The innocent children are being hit by bullets aiming right in their hearts.”
Situations like these are well known in the city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, that’s why people with children are very scared there, she added.
According to the latest UN report, at least 356 people, including 257 civilians (of them 14 children), have been killed in the violence since the beginning of the “anti-terrorist” military campaign in Ukraine’s eastern regions of Lugansk and Donetsk.
Russian FM Sergey Lavrov spoke about the necessity of an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine’s southeastern regions in a phone conversation with his German counterpart, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said.
In the conversation, Lavrov said that a ceasefire was a necessary step to begin constructive dialogue between Kiev’s authorities and the representatives of protesting regions.
Ukraine’s newly elected president told German Chancellor Angela Merkel via a phone call, that his June 20 unilateral ceasefire was broken on more than 20 occasions.
“The President of Ukraine informed the German Chancellor that in the last 24 hours, the ceasefire has been broken…in Lugansk and Donetsk regions more than 20 times,” RIA Novosti quotes press release from Poroshenko’s office.
Poroshenko also stressed the need for Merkel’s personal participation in deescalating the conflict. Merkel in return expressed her support for Poroshenko’s action plan.
Sunday, June 22
The railroad tracks in the Donetsk Region were blown up as the freight train belonging to Russian Railways was passing by, the company said. 14 freight cars were derailed as a result of the incident, with Russian Railways employees on the train avoiding injuries. The company is currently working on specifying the details of the attack.
About 50 people picketed Russia’s general consulate in Kiev, throwing walnuts into the building, the press service of Ukraine’s Interior Ministry said, Itar-Tass reported. Local police said the protesters “did not disturb public order.”
“There were about 60 people,” the press-attaché of the Russian diplomatic mission to Ukraine, Oleg Grishin, told RT. “They were peaceful at first, but now the situation is developing in not a good way: [they] are shouting anti-Russian slogans, trying to break through security and get to the consulate office, bringing tires to the scene. The situation is tense.”
Grishin suggested that the attackers are the same extremists who earlier near Kiev’s Pechersk Lavra monastery and then vandalized Russia’s Sberbank office. Russia’s consulate is located close to the monastery, so Grishin said it is possible that the young men were heading for the consulate.
Extreme nationalists have clashed with police officers outside Kiev’s Pechersk Lavra monastery. A group of about 200 radicals gathered outside the monastery, from where religious activists planned a procession against Ukraine signing the EU Association Agreement and the “anti-terrorist operation” in the southeast of the country. Police blocked access to the Lavra to avoid clashes between the two groups. After that radicals have attacked Russia’s Sberbank office in Kiev. Masked extremists shattered windows with stones and hurled placards. They did not enter the office. Local media reports that security forces were deployed.
Russian President Vladimir Putin in a phone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Hollande noted the necessity of immediate negotiations between Kiev and representatives of protesting regions, a statement by the Kremlin website said.
“V. Putin supported the decision of Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko to negotiate a plan on peaceful regulation [in Ukraine],” the statement said, adding that the intentions of Ukraine’s president should be supported by an immediate ceasefire.
Kiev’s troops are now firing shelling mortars at the village of Ananyevka near the city of Lugansk, eastern Ukraine, the press service of the People’s Republic of Lugansk reported. No victims have been reported yet.
Due to the fact that the commander of the Ukrainian special forces didn’t try to contact the leadership of the self-defense forces, the ceasefire declared by President Poroshenko unilaterally will not be observed by the anti-government troops.