MOSCOW, November 9 (RIA Novosti) — European Union's new foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini has expressed concern about OSCE reports of alleged troops movement in eastern Ukraine and urged to keep the military conflict from escalating, a EU statement said Sunday.
Mogherini said the last report of the OSCE special monitoring mission in Ukraine on convoys of heavy weapons, tanks and soldiers in militia-controlled areas caused serious concern.
She urged all sides in the conflict to prevent the new escalation of hostilities and show maximum restraint, while also sticking to the Minsk protocol on peace settlement in eastern Ukraine, which was agreed back on September 5.
The spot report, published by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe claimed the Special Monitoring Mission in the east of Ukraine "observed convoys of heavy weapons and tanks" in the city of Donetsk and on its northeastern outskirts.
The SMM said it could hear "heavy, outgoing shelling to the north and northwest of the city's outskirts" at the time of the reporting on Sunday.
Militias in the Donetsk region on Sunday confirmed the reports of continuing heavy shelling by Ukrainian troops, which they said targeted residential areas in the region's capital city.
Early morning, a RIA Novosti correspondent in Donetsk reported intense exchanges of artillery fire near the Donetsk airport to the northwest, with thundering blasts heard as far as the city center.
He cited a source with the Donetsk militia as saying that overnight Ukrainian troops loyal to the government in Kiev had stepped up attacks on the city and along the entire line of engagement. The bombardments killed two city defenders and wounded six people, including five civilians and one soldier, according to Donetsk militia leader Eduard Basurin.
The United Nations estimates that since the start of the Kiev-led campaign in mid-April more than 4,000 people have died and 9,000 have been injured in east Ukrainian hostilities as of October 31. A ceasefire is currently in place in the southeast, though the warring parties have accused each other of violating it.