DONETSK – The rumble of tank shelling and mortar exchanges comes in waves, startling flocks of crows. For hours there can be silence here in the center of Donetsk, only for the quiet to be shattered as clashes between Russia-backed separatists and Ukrainian government forces resume, mainly around the city’s wrecked airport and in the fiercely contested village of Pesky.
Ukrainian serviceman stands in front of his touch base in Pisky village, Donetsk Oblast on Oct. 25.
Russian occupants in Donetsk push for territory. Voice of America reports how criminal groups in occupied Donbass dismiss Minsk peace deal
But the bangs and thumps can come from virtually anywhere around Donetsk, and they all testify to the collapse of a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago between the warring sides fighting in eastern Ukraine.
The truce agreed in the Belarusian capital of Minsk has been breached nearly 3,000 times since its was inked on September 5, according to the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which monitors the accord’s observance.
Cease-fire all but dead
Ukraine’s representative to the OSCE, Ihor Prokopchuk, said the cease-fire is all but dead. Others argue it started dying the moment it was signed.
Keywords: Donbass, Minsk deal, Russian occupants, war in Ukraine, Russian agression, Russian occupants, Donetsk, Voice of America, criminal groups, occpied Donbass, Minsk peace deal