News and last minute of the crisis between Ukraine and Russia: the world, in suspense

TOPSHOT – Servicemen from the Armed Forces of Ukraine walk as they hold their position on the front line with Russian-backed separatists near Novolugansk in the Donetsk region on February 17, 2022. (Photo by ANATOLII STEPANOV/AFP via Getty Images)

The Ukrainian military said on Friday that in the first nine hours of the day there were 20 violations of the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, “15 of which were through the use of weapons prohibited by the Minsk agreements.”

“The enemy used 122-mm artillery systems, 120-mm and 82-mm mortars, multi-system grenade launchers, infantry fighting vehicles and large-caliber machine guns,” the Joint Forces office reported.

He said there are no casualties among the Ukrainian military.

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry recorded 60 ceasefire violations on Thursday, the highest since May 2018.

Russian-backed breakaway regions have accused Ukrainian forces of shelling residential areas under their control.

Under the Minsk agreements, both sides must withdraw heavy weapons from the front lines.

A bit of context: This comes after observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) reported this Thursday of a sharp escalation in ceasefire violations along the front lines that divide to Ukrainian and separatist forces in eastern Ukraine.

The OSCE said that as a result of “reports of civilian casualties and damage to civilian property and infrastructure sites in the last 24 hours, the Mission redirected several of its patrols in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, including a kindergarten and a railway station in Stanitsya Luhanska (controlled by the government, 16 km northeast of Luhansk)”.

The kindergarten was hit by artillery fire early this Thursday. Two people suffered minor injuries, according to Ukrainian authorities.

Both parties to the conflict accused each other of violating the ceasefire.

The war in eastern Ukraine began in 2014 and has claimed the lives of more than 14,000 people. Heavy fighting in 2014 and 2015 left parts of the eastern provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk in the hands of Russian-backed separatists.

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