Truce rejected by Donetsk People’s Republic
"The truce, unilaterally declared by the Ukrainian military without negotiating it with us, has not been recognized by the Donetsk People's Republic's militia," the statement says.
There was an exchange of fire on the western limits of Slovyansk early on Saturday, the statement says.
"At 4 a.m. sharp, our anti-aircraft crews shelled the enemy's advanced artillery positions on the northern slope of the Karachun hill, destroying one mortar position and one machinegun emplacement. The enemy did not return the fire," it says.
The statement also says that, "a subversive reconnaissance group of the Kramatorsk battalion's Konstantinovka company attacked a similar enemy group of the 24th mechanized brigade near the populated area of Oktyabrskoye west of Konstantinovka last night. The enemy lost three servicemen. At least 15 servicemen were wounded. A Ural vehicle was destroyed. On our side, one fighter sustained an arm wound," the statement says.
A spokesperson for the breakaway Lugansk People's Republic (LPR) said on Wednesday evening that the truce between government forces and militiamen is over, the Ukrainian army has again started pulling its forces into a suburb of Lugansk. "The bodies of our boys are still being removed in the village of Schastye, but at the same time it emerged that the Ukrainian army is pulling in its forces again," the LPR spokesperson told Interfax.
"Still, as soon as the truce was announced in Schastye, they (Ukrainian government forces) started bombing the village of Metallist from mortar launchers," the source added, Interfax reports.
So far the LPR has not provided any data about losses over the past 24 hours.
A spokesman for DPR, Miroslav Rudenko, has rejected a proposal by Ukrainian President Petr Poroshenko for self-defense fighters in the east of the country to surrender their arms. "Poroshenko's proposal to surrender arms is simply a tactical trick," he said. "If people give in to it, a new purge will begin. We shall not surrender our arms," Rudenko said.
"Why should we surrender arms? We no longer believe Poroshenko, because his announcement of a peaceful resolution to the conflict was followed by fierce shelling of Slavyansk and Kramatorsk, and subsequently of Amvrosiyevka, where there were no militiamen," Rudenko told Interfax on Wednesday.
He added that the last 24 hours saw fierce fighting in Kramatorsk.
"About a dozen civilians have been injured, a whole street destroyed, and a five-storey building has partially collapsed," the DPR spokesperson said.
The fighting continues in eastern Ukraine despite the temporary ceasefire declared by Ukrainian president Petr Poroshenko, the prime minister of the unilaterally proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic said on Saturday.
"In Slavyansk, hostilities are continuing, and the Ukrainian president, Petr Poroshenko, has once again failed to keep a promise to cease fire," Alexander Borodai told during a briefing in Donetsk.
"Churches are being bombed in Slavyansk, and the zone of the so-called 'anti-terrorist operation' includes the territory of the Lugansk People's Republic as well. No humanitarian corridors have been set up," Borodai said.
The Donetsk People's Republic is on the verge of a humanitarian disaster, he said, claiming that local water supply systems are almost completely obliterated. "The pump stations are destroyed. We asked for a ceasefire in order to repair them, but the shooting went on, and two repair workers were killed and another two wounded as a result," Borodai said.
If the stations came under fire again, the whole of Donbas, a vast industrial region in eastern Ukraine, would be left without drinking water, he said. "We thought of drilling wells in Donetsk, but the subsoil waters of Donbas are undrinkable, and that means that soon there will be a tremendous flow of refugees from Donbas to the Russian Federation as there will be no supply of drinking water," Borodai said.