News / Europe

    Ukraine: Rebels Using Cease-fire to Regroup

    People hold posters depicting Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko, during a interfaith prayer "For Ukraine, for peace, for Nadezhda" in support of Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko in Kyiv, Ukraine, March 1, 2015.
    People hold posters depicting Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko, during a interfaith prayer "For Ukraine, for peace, for Nadezhda" in support of Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko in Kyiv, Ukraine, March 1, 2015.
    Reuters

    Ukraine's military said on Sunday a cease-fire had been fully observed in eastern separatist territories overnight, but warned that pro-Russian rebels were using the truce to regroup for new attacks on government positions, especially around the port of Mariupol.

    A drop in violence and moves by both sides to withdraw heavy weapons from the front line had raised hopes a shaky two-week-old cease-fire could hold.

    “In order to mislead OSCE representatives, the rebels are moving military equipment from the front line ... and bringing it back at night,” military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said.

    “There are signs the enemy is preparing for further offensives,” he said, naming as major targets government-held Mariupol, a strategic port city, and Artemivsk, north of the rebel stronghold of Donetsk.

    Industrial hub

    Control of the industrial hub of Mariupol would help the rebels form a corridor to the Crimea peninsula, which Russia annexed from Ukraine last year.

    While there was no shelling in the night, rebels shelled government troop positions 34 times on Saturday, wounding eight Ukrainian soldiers, Lysenko said.

    Kyiv's security officials told the French news agency AFP there was no fire after midnight on Ukraine's positions and no Ukrainian soldiers have been killed over the past 24 hours.

    On the other side, rebels said Ukrainian forces had fired mortar rounds and rockets in the Donetsk area 26 times in the past 24 hours, according to separatist DAN press service.

    Senior rebel commander Eduard Basurin said on Sunday separatists continued the process of withdrawing heavy weapons from the front line under the eye of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, DAN reported.

    The OSCE, which is monitoring the implementation of the peace deal, said on Saturday it had monitored the pull back of rebel equipment in parts of the Donetsk region and would check daily to see if the weapons remained in the areas they had been pulled back to.

    It said it had also observed the withdrawal of two convoys in Luhansk region, but separatists had “prohibited the special monitoring mission from following either of these convoys to their end-points.”

    OSCE's envoy to Ukraine, Heidi Tagliavini, told the U.N. Security Council Friday the current situation was at a "crossroads" where the risk of further escalation remained high despite "encouraging signs."

    Death toll

    However, a relative quiet in eastern Ukraine has set in following a shaky European-brokered peace plan to end fighting that has killed at least 5,800 people since April.

    Kyiv and its Western allies said the rebels are funded and armed by Moscow, and backed by Russian military units. Moscow denies aiding sympathizers in Ukraine.

    Meanwhile, in Kyiv, colleagues mourned the death of photojournalist Sergiy Nikolayev from the Ukrainian daily Segodnya. He died after being struck by a mortar shell in Pisky, a village not far from Donetsk airport.

    Nikolayev, 43, died of his injuries late Saturday.

    Some material for this report came from AFP.

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Baldur dasche from: bantustan
    March 02, 2015 10:16 AM
    When an army withdraws on interior lines as have the armies of Donetsk and Lughansk DPRs, they tend to meet each other, or get closer to each other. If they are wise they will regroup and put their equipment in fighting order, for if this ceasefire fails as all the other have done, they will be facing another 'massive' government "teeth-punching" offensive - again just like before.

    Kyiv usually accuses of 'the russians' if doing exactly what they are doing themselves.

    by: William Gruff from: Singapore
    March 01, 2015 4:44 PM
    Sergiy Nikolayev was killed in Pesky along with a Pravy Sektor (Nazi) fighter that was accompanying him. Pesky is on the separatist side of the "line of contact". That means pro-Kiev fighters have violated the cease-fire.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora