The newly implemented ceasefire in the conflict in eastern Ukraine has been threatened today after shelling was reported in the eastern city of Mariupol.
Local officials said that separatist rebels shelled a government checkpoint near the port city, killing one woman.
The shelling resumed after the ceasefire deal had been brokered following a phone call between Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Russia has consistently denied being directly involved in the conflict between the separatist rebels and the Kiev government, although several Western leaders insist that Putin is providing the rebels with assistance in the form of military equipment and personnel.
Members from both sides are blaming the other for breaking the ceasefire.
“They, terrorists, Russians, are trying to scare us. They have no respect for the ceasefire. They are lying all the time. They are people with no honour,” a Ukrainian soldier was quoted as saying by the Moscow Times.
“We left this area the day before yesterday. Everyone saw us pulling out tanks in line with the agreement. We only left lightly armed people to man checkpoints and these monsters violated every word of the agreement,” he said.
Separatist leader Andrei Purgin, however, told Russia’s RIA news agency that “despite the provocations of Ukrainian forces, the militia of the people’s republics [areas claimed by the rebels] will keep firmly to the Minsk agreements. The militias are not resorting and will not resort to arms.”
Amnesty International published a report saying that both sides of the Ukraine conflict are guilty of war crimes. Despite Russia’s denial of involvement in the conflict, Amnesty said it was directly responsible for much of the devastation.
“Our evidence shows that Russia is fueling 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,” said Salil Shetty, Amnesty’s secretary-general.