Who is responsible?
The warring parties, as it usually happens, are blaming each other for shelling and attempts to launch an offensive. The Donbass militia accuses Ukrainian authorities, while Kiev claims that the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Moscow are standing behind the intensified fighting. Russia denies the allegations.
"There is reliable data, which proves that yesterday, there was an attempt from the independent groups to attack the territory under control of Donbass republics," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
He pointed out that the Donbass militia repelled the attack and returned the territory seized by the pro-Ukrainian units.
"We deeply regret that as a result of this attack against the Donbass militia people fighting for both sides were killed," Peskov stressed.
The Kremlin spokesman noted that despite the fact that the offensive was carried out by the units that in fact are not controlled by Kiev, the Ukrainian armed forces supported them with artillery fire.
"It looks like an attempt, by carrying out aggressive actions in the region of Donbass, to distract attention from the very shaky domestic situation," Peskov told reporters.
According to the presidential administration deputy head Kostiantyn Yeliseyev, Poroshenko ordered his aides to call an extraordinary session of the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine to discuss the situation near Avdiivka.
The Permanent Council of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) decided to hold a special meeting on Tuesday.
Peskov said that no high-level contacts in the 'Normandy Four' format were planned in connection with the aggravation of the situation in Donbass.
While the parties are blaming each other, civilians continue to suffer. According to DPR’s Defense Ministry the shelling left two civilians dead and three more injured.
Moreover, people are left without running water, electricity and central heating under the temperature of minus 20 degrees Celsius (minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit).
Avdiivka authorities declared a state of emergency in the town and did not exclude that the whole population might be evacuated if the repair works were not carried out. Severely ill and disabled people are being evacuated.
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