“A Ukrainian Cabinet Ministers meeting was just held…and the decision to call for an emergency situation was made at the government level. The government has made the decision to implement an emergency situation in the territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk Regions,” Yatsenyuk said.
The prime minister added that Kiev decided to heighten the alert level across the country. "The reason for making this decision is to completely coordinate the activities of all the powers of authority and provide security for the citizens,” he said.
The fighting in southeastern Ukraine's Donbas region has intensified in recent weeks, driving up the civilian death toll. On January 13, the shelling of a bus in the Donetsk Region town of Volnovakha killed 13 civilians. Last week, at least eight Donetsk residents were killed in a shelling of a trolleybus stop.
The conflict in Ukraine has been ongoing since April 2014, when Kiev-led forces launched a military operation against independence supporters in the country's eastern regions.