LUHANSK (Sputnik) – The Ukrainian armed forces have carried out some 20 attacks on positions of people’s militia since Sunday, Plotnitsky said.
The LPR leader stressed that the Ukrainian forces used artillery and heavy armor in the attacks that should have been withdrawn under the Minsk peace agreement.
Plotnitsky said that there have been casualties and wounded among LPR fighters as a result of the attacks, all of which have been successfully repelled without harming civilians even though "armed units under Kiev control are trying to fire at civilian buildings."
"Poroshenko bears full responsibility for the escalation of bloodshed in Donbass [Ukraine’s southeastern regions]," Plotnitsky stressed.
Kiev launched a special military operation in Ukraine’s southeast in April 2014, after local residents refused to recognize the new Ukrainian authorities, which came to power as a result of a coup. In February 2015, the two sides reached a ceasefire deal after talks brokered by the leaders of Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine — the so-called Normandy Format — in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Kiev has been reluctant to implement a number of Minsk deal provisions.
Steinmeier stressed that the withdrawal of heavy weapons must be urgently completed in Ukraine’s southeast and Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE) monitors should be granted access to all areas of Donbas.
The German foreign minister also called for the release of prisoners, particularly the most vulnerable ones, before the end of 2017.