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Ukrainian servicemen hold a position on the frontline with Russia backed separatists near small city of Marinka, Donetsk region on April 12, 2021.
The OSCE said both sides expressed a willingness to return to ceasefire terms, following an uptick in breaches recorded by OSCE observersImage: AFP via Getty Images
ConflictsUkraine

Cease-fire restored in eastern Ukraine talks, says OSCE

December 23, 2021

Ukraine's military and separatist forces both expressed a willingness to restore a truce, according to the Organization for Security and Co-operation, which has logged an uptick in cease-fire violations of late.

https://p.dw.com/p/44jRy

A cease-fire has been reached between the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) said on Wednesday.

"I was delighted that participants expressed their strong determination to fully adhere to the Measures to Strengthen the Ceasefire agreement of 22 July 2020," the Special Representative of the OSCE chairperson-in-office in Ukraine, Mikko Kinnunen, said in a press statement.

Ukraine and Russia have blamed each other for recent violations of a previous cease-fire which had been agreed upon in July of last year. This cease-fire helped reduce the number of casualties in the conflict in 2020.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy visiting the Donbass in military camouflage
The security situation in the Donbass remains volatileImage: Ukrainian Presidency/AA/picture alliance

What is the current situation in the Donbass?

The security situation along the contact line between Ukrainian forces and separatist groups "remains volatile," said the OSCE chief. According to Kinnunen, there were five times as many cease-fire violations on average per day in December 2021 as in December 2020.

In the OSCE's daily report on monitoring the cease-fire for December 22, 564 cease-fire violations in Donetsk and 49 violations in Luhansk were reported.

The conflict in the Donbass began in 2014 after the so-called Euromaidan protests toppled Viktor Yanukovych's pro-Russian government and the Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic declared their independence from Ukraine, around the same time that Russia annexed Crimea.

Life on the Ukraine-Russia border

Major combat between Ukrainian forces and separatist groups ended with an agreement reached in 2015 in the Belarusian capital of Minsk between Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany, but sporadic clashes still regularly kill civilians and soldiers.

What is the OSCE?

The OSCE is the world's largest security-oriented intergovernmental organization. It was created in 1975 as an East-West forum.

Fifty seven countries across the Northern Hemisphere participate in the organization, including both the Russian Federation and Ukraine.

OSCE observers operate on both sides of the frontline and have been monitoring the conflict since March 2014.

sdi/msh (Reuters)

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