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    Shattered windows in a residential building in Donetsk, damaged during a shelling by the Ukrainian military

    State Dept. Calls for Immediate Ceasefire in E Ukraine, Full OSCE Monitor Access

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    The United States Department of State expressed on Tuesday deep concern over the spike in hostilities in Ukraine's Donbass and called for immediate ceasefire to avert a larger humanitarian crisis.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States is calling for an immediate cessation of hostilities in eastern Ukraine and urges full access for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) monitors, Department of State Acting spokesperson Mark Toner said in a statement.

    “The United States is deeply concerned with the recent spike in violence in eastern Ukraine around Avdiivka-Yasynuvata," Toner said. "To avert a larger humanitarian crisis, we call for an immediate, sustained ceasefire and full and unfettered access for OSCE monitors.”

    Toner said that since January 24, the OSCE has reported a dramatic spike in fighting that led to dozens of Ukrainian military casualties and 10 civilian casualties.

    “It has also left 17,000 civilians, including 2,500 children, without water, heat, or electricity,” he added.

    Toner concluded that the United States continues to support full implementation of the Minsk deal.

    The situation near the industrial town of Avdiivka has been tense for several days with civilians being deprived of running water, central heating and electricity under the temperature of minus 20 degrees Celsius (minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit). Both parties are accusing each other of being responsible for escalation of fighting.

    Following the reports about the escalation in Donbas, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has cut short his visit to Germany and tasked his aides with calling for the extraordinary session of the Trilateral Contact Group to discuss the situation near Avdiivka.

     

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    State Department, OSCE, Mark Toner, Donbass, Ukraine
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