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.
"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.
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.