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‘Bread ceasefire’ begins in Donbass

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A yet another ceasefire has begun in eastern Ukraine in line with an agreement the parties to the Contact Group for settling the armed civil conflict in Ukraine reached on June 21 in Minsk. reports citing TASS, Martin Sajdik, the special envoy of the OSCE chairman-in-office said upon the end of the meeting the ‘peace and quiet order’ would cover the entire harvesting season from June 24 through to August 31 and therefore the parties to the Minsk talks had decided to call it a ‘bread ceasefire’.

Ceasefires have been declared many a time in Donbass since the spring of 2014 when the armed civil conflict broke out in eastern Ukraine. They conflicting sides agreed on them on the eve of the beginning school year, before Christmas, on the eve of the Easter, on the occasion of the World Children’s Day and so on.

Officials voiced the hope more than once the ceasefires would grow over into indefinite ones but none of the declared periods of truce would last long - the shelling resumed after a couple of weeks, several days or just a few hours.

The plenipotentiary representative of the self-proclaimed unrecognised Donetsk People’s Republic, Denis Pushilin said at the last meeting it was not enough to simply declare a ceasefire since the parties to the conflict apparently needed a mechanism for supporting it.

"It is the pullback of weaponry and units along the pilots sections and them along its entire length that should lay the groundwork for a steady ceasefire," Pushilin’s press secretary Viktoria Talakina wrote on Facebook.

So far, however, the sides have failed to set up even the first security zones, agreement on which was reached last September. At least in one place - in the area of Stanitsa Luganskaya township - the attempts to do this have proved fruitless.

The head of the OSCE’s Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, Alexander Hug pointed out the failure to comply with the ceasefire provisions and to pull back the weaponry in his recent report. He said the SMM was registering a considerable increase of victims among peaceful civilians in Donbass.

The data provided by the SMM says a total of 45 people died because of armed actions in Donbass from January 1 through mid-June and another 216 were wounded. This is twice as big as in the same period of 2016 when 23 people died and another 84 were wounded, Hug said.

2017.06.24 / 13:36
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