Council of Europe Secretary-General Thorbjorn Jagland on Tuesday called for the fighting in Avdiyivka industrial zone to stop immediately, Joinfo.com reports with reference to UNIAN.
“The intense fighting around Avdiivka in the last few days, involving heavy shelling with proscribed weapons and leading to a considerable number of casualties, is a blatant violation of the ceasefire, as stipulated by the Minsk agreements. It puts civilians at grave risk,” Jagland said. He added that the latest incidents have already caused major disruptions in the provision of basic utility services to the local communities.
“We call for the fighting to stop immediately,” the statement reads. “This would also allow for the urgent repair of critical infrastructures,” said Jagland. “Full observance of the ceasefire is a crucial step towards the full implementation of the Minsk agreements, which is the basis for a peaceful and sustainable resolution of the conflict, respecting Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission must be granted full and unrestricted access to all conflict-affected areas, according to the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe.
First signs of the ceasefire have been observed in the area, according to the Head of the Donetsk Military and Civil Administration Pavlo Zhebrivskiy.
Nevertheless, NSC Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov said today the Ukrainian Armed Forces have lost seven servicemen and 35 more were injured over the past two days due to the escalation of the situation in the Avdiyivka area.
Avdiyivka remains cut from the power, gas, water and heating supply.
Zhebrivskiy says that maintenance crews are prepared for immediate deployment to repair the systems of electricity and gas supply to Avdiyivka.
“After the president used all the elements of international pressure on Russia, we can see the first signs of a ceasefire. According to the General Staff, the ceasefire is being observed only in the Yasynuvata direction from Avdiyivka, while the Russian-backed militants continue firing on the industrial zone,” the report says.
According to Zhebrivskiy, the central city hospital of Avdiyivka has been provided with the means of the autonomous power supply and is now operating in its regular mode.
Some 11 warming centers for civilians have already been set up in Avdiyivka. On behalf of the president of Ukraine, the military also provided tents and field kitchens to citizens. The residents are provided with hot meals.
“The administration is working out the issue of a voluntary evacuation of residents, especially children and people with disabilities. Special buses have been prepared to this end. Those wishing to leave should contact the town council,” President Poroshenko aide Tsegolko said.
The Russian side of the Joint Center for Control and Coordination (JCCC) has not provided any confirmation of the cease-fire in the area of the town of Avdiyivka, Donetsk region, and therefore there will be no repairs of the damaged power line on Tuesday, Pavlo Zhebrivsky has said.
Zhebrivsky said the situation is being saved by the fact that Avdiyivka Coking Plant was able to raise the temperature in the heating system and provide some heating to the houses.
“We have organized the provision of the Red Cross humanitarian aid and heating equipment to Avdiyivka. The aid will be delivered soon,” Representative of the civilian and military cooperation department of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Volodymyr Liamzin said, according to Ukrinform agency.
He also noted that the civilian and military cooperation department of the Armed Forces of Ukraine was making every effort to help the civilian population.
“Our representative is involved in all the working meeting and activities to address the consequences of the attacks. However, we can do nothing until the ceasefire regime is declared. As soon as it will be declared and confirmed, we are ready to help the repair teams to resume electricity, gas and water supply in Avdiyivka,” Liamzin said.