Pro-Russian rebels use GRAD missiles despite ceasefire

Ukrainian government accuses Pro-Russian rebels of using large-calibre weapons despite ceasefire agreement

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Pro-Russian rebels drive multiple GRAD rocket launchers in the town of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014.

Ukrainian government accused Pro-Russian rebels of using large-calibre weapons on Thursday despite a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine that requires both sides to pull back such arms.

Fighting in the industrial heartland of Ukraine has increased in the past weeks as peace talks have reached a gridlock.

Rebels deployed a GRAD multiple missile launcher against government troops early Thursday outside the separatist stronghold of Donetsk, Ukraine said in a statement.

Since signing the truce agreement in February 2015, the use of GRADs have hardly been reported.

The press office said 60 ceasefire violations came along the front line along with the GRAD attack.

The fighting broke out in April 2014 when Pro-Russian rebels took over parts of Ukraine’s east following Russia’s occupation of the Crimean Peninsula, causing the death of more than 9,100 people.

The Donetsk News Agency, seen as the rebel mouthpiece, accused the government of shelling Donetsk suburbs on Thursday, killing a fighter and burning a house.

Crucial infrastructure is now threatened by the fighting. The Donetsk water treatment plant said Thursday they had to halt the operations and evacuate employees because of nearby fighting.

A new UN report says civilian casualties have declined in eastern Ukraine in recent months, claiming 21 dead and 57 injured from Nov. 16 to Feb. 15.

However, rights monitors allegedly documented reports that Ukrainian law enforcement officials were carrying out enforced disappearances and torture in the same period.

TRTWorld, AP