The situation near the industrial town of Avdiivka and neighboring Yasynuvata has been tense for several days, with civilians deprived of running water, central heating and electricity. The Ukrainian forces and Donbas militia are accusing each other of raising the tensions.
"We see the most serious spike in violence in a long time especially in and around Adviivka and we see that the ceasefire is not respected. There have been over 5,600 ceasefire violations in the past week … We call for an immediate return to the ceasefire and withdrawal of all heavy weapons banned under the Minsk agreements, OSCE [Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe] monitors must be guaranteed free and safe access throughout the region," Stoltenberg told a press conference.
According to the official, NATO calls on Russia to use its "considerable influence" on the Donbas militias to put an end to the violence.