MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Sunday, the United States State Department condemned a recent attack on the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in eastern Ukraine and accused Donbass militia of the ceasefire regime violation.
"Of course, we believe that it is necessary to be more careful in assessments of the situation, especially in determining the sources of provocative actions. We know that OSCE employees themselves… have repeatedly registered that Ukraine's armed forces are the source of provocative actions, so we can only repeat for a hundredth time that Russia is in no way a party to this conflict," Peskov said.
Since late January, the conflict in eastern Ukraine between local militia and Kiev authorities has escalated in Avdiivka and Yasynuvata towns near Donetsk, with Kiev forces and Donbass militia accusing each other of being responsible for the escalation of fighting.
Russian authorities have repeatedly voiced concern over the escalation. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier in February that Moscow had reliable data that the Ukrainian independent armed groups, supported by the Ukrainian Armed Forces' artillery, were behind the attack on Avdiivka.