Using artillery, tanks and rockets, combined Russian-separatist forces attacked Ukrainian forces along the front lines in eastern Ukraine on Sunday and early Monday morning, highlighting once again that the February 2015 ceasefire has failed.
“This is barbarism,” Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Monday in response to the attacks, according to a tweet from his press secretary, Svyatoslav Tsegolko.
Ceasefire monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, or OSCE, tallied 2,260 “ceasefire violations” on Sunday.
And early Monday morning, combined Russian-separatist forces launched a predawn artillery attack and follow-on ground assault on the Ukrainian-held front-line town of Avdiivka.
Ukrainian officials claimed the attacks were an attempt by combined Russian forces to derail the ceasefire by effectively baiting Ukraine into retaliatory actions, which could be used as an excuse for further escalations, or for propaganda.
By Monday afternoon, Ukrainian forces announced they had repelled the attack on Avdiivka, but combat was ongoing.
“The enemy continues to fire at our positions with heavy artillery and mortars,” Ukrainian military spokesman Colonel Oleksandr Motuzyanyk told reporters in Kiev Monday.
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