2 Jul 2019 21:57

Donbas crisis escalating - DPR

DONETSK. July 2 (Interfax) - The self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) believes that the situation along the Donbas contact line is becoming tenser every day, while hostilities may be intensified at any moment.

"The situation along the entire contact line is heated up every day, as the escalation is constantly on the rise. The intensity and density of attacks on the republic by the Ukrainian Armed Forces have increased manifold over the past month," head of the DPR representative office to the Joint Center for Control and Coordination of the ceasefire Ruslan Yakubov said at a meeting with DPR leader Denis Pushilin on Tuesday.

"The escalation of the conflict did take place following the newly elected Ukrainian president's visit to the Ukrainian Armed Forces' positions," he said. The Ukrainian Armed Forces fired almost twice as many artillery rounds as over the five weeks, which preceded Volodymyr Zelensky's visit to Donbas, Yakubov said.

"The situation along the entire contact line thus remains stably tense, while the Ukrainian Armed Forces may step up their combat actions any minute," Yakubov said.

A total of 617 ceasefire violations have been recorded between May 27 and July 1, while heavy artillery guns banned by the Minsk Agreements have been used systematically since June 7, he said.