Global calls for constraint amid new flare-ups in eastern Ukraine

Access to the comments Comments
By Seamus Kearney
Global calls for constraint amid new flare-ups in eastern Ukraine

Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists are being urged to pull their forces back from front line positions in the east of the country amid new flare-ups in fighting.

The call comes from the UN, the OSCE and aid groups, as concern mounts about a humanitarian crisis.

The US Ambassador to the UN has condemned what she calls the aggressive actions of Russia.

But the Foreign Ministry in Moscow claims Ukraine forces have violated the Geneva Convention, accusing Kiev of what it calls “barbarism”.

“They are not taking any responsibility for what is happening, without any shame,” said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.

The Ukrainian President blamed Russia and the separatist fighters it supports for the latest flare-ups.

At least nine civilians on both sides have been killed since Sunday, with many more injured.

“We haven’t seen such intense military activity since last summer,” said Ukrainian military spokesman Oleksandr Motuzyanyk.

“Combat operations of the enemy are reported along almost the entire conflict line in three different directions: Mariupol, Donetsk and Luhansk.”

As the US criticised Russia at the UN, Republican Senator John McCain sent President Trump a letter to say that Russia was testing him with the actions in eastern Ukraine.

He called on Washington to give Kiev the help it needs to defend itself.