Renewed fighting threatens Ukraine ceasefire deal

7 September 2014 (Last Updated September 7th, 2014 18:30)

Renewed fighting in eastern Ukraine a day after a ceasefire came into effect in the region has claimed the life of one woman and injured four others.

Renewed fighting in eastern Ukraine a day after a ceasefire came into effect in the region has claimed the life of one woman and injured four others.

On 5 September, the Ukrainian Government and pro-Russia rebels agreed to a truce during a meeting in Minsk, Belarus, as part of a peace road-map that seeks to end the five-month conflict in Ukraine.

However, shelling resumed near the port of Mariupol late on 6 September, followed by resumption of fighting early the next day on the northern outskirts of rebel-held Donetsk, jeopardising the ceasefire.

An unnamed Ukrainian official was quoted by Reuters as saying: "There has been an artillery attack.

"We received a number of impacts; we have no information about casualties."

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian security forces and rebels accused each other of violating the ceasefire.

A Ukrainian soldier said: "We only left lightly armed people to man checkpoints and these monsters violated every word of the agreement."

However, rebel leader Andrei Purgin was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying: "Despite the provocations of Ukrainian forces, the militias ... will keep firmly to the Minsk agreement.

"The militias are not resorting and will not resort to arms."

"Our evidence shows that Russia is fuelling the conflict, both through direct interference and by supporting the separatists in the east."

Brokered by Russia, the peace plan demands an end to offensive operations by both Ukraine and rebels in Donetsk and Lugansk, an end to Kiev's airstrikes, unconditional exchange of prisoners and establishment of a humanitarian corridor for refugees and aid.

According to UN estimates, the Ukraine crisis has claimed the lives of nearly 2,500 people and displaced one million others.

Meanwhile, a new report by Amnesty International has accused Ukrainian militias and separatist forces of committing war crimes, and also accused Russia of fuelling separatist crimes.

Amnesty International secretary general Salil Shetty said: "All sides in this conflict have shown disregard for civilian lives and are blatantly violating their international obligations.

"Our evidence shows that Russia is fuelling the conflict, both through direct interference and by supporting the separatists in the east.

"Russia must stop the steady flow of weapons and other support to an insurgent force heavily implicated in gross human rights violations."

Russia has repeatedly denied any involvement in the fighting in Ukraine.

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