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Civil War in Ukraine May Stop if Kiev Implements Minsk Deal - Kremlin

© AP Photo / Markiv Mykhailo, PoolUkrainian President Petro Poroshenko
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko - Sputnik International
Kiev is able to stop the civil war in Ukraine if it makes efforts to implement the Minsk deal, the Kremlin said.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The civil war in Ukraine's eastern region of Donbass can only be stopped if authorities in Kiev fully implement the Minsk agreements, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday.

"Calling things by their proper names, this is a civil war, which can be only stopped by Ukraine itself through the implementation of the Minsk agreements," Peskov told reporters.

Commenting on a proposed Ukrainian law calling to recognize Donbass as occupied by Russia, Peskov said that "Russia does not occupy any territories."

The Donbass conflict erupted in April 2014 as a local counter-reaction to the West-sponsored Maidan coup in Kiev that had toppled President Viktor Yanukovych in February. Residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions held independence referendums and proclaimed the People's Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. Kiev has since been conducting a military operation, encountering stiff local resistance.

Funeral of militia men in Donetsk Region - Sputnik International
Over 10,000 Killed, Nearly 24,000 Injured in Ukraine's Conflict Since 2014 - UN
In February 2015, Kiev forces and Donbass independence supporters signed a peace agreement in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. The deal stipulates a full ceasefire, weapons withdrawal from the line of contact in Donbass, as well as constitutional reforms that would give a special status to the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics. Despite the agreement brokered by the Normandy Four states (Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine), the ceasefire regime is regularly violated, with both sides accusing each other of multiple breaches, undermining the terms of the accord.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on May 2 that new agreements on the crisis settlement in Ukraine should not be discussed until the already existing agreements have been fully implemented.

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