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After the first day of fierce fighting in Avdiivka industrial zone, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has decided to suspend the visit to Germany, where he held a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. She said that the ceasefire regime does not actually exist.
"I must say that the situation on the demarcation line is worrisome", said Merkel.
In the European Union, which includes 28 countries, was made an official statement on the situation in Avdiivka. There it was reiterated that fighting around Avdiivka constitutes a flagrant violation of the ceasefire agreement.
"We call for the immediate cessation of hostilities. It will also allow conducting the restoration works of the critical infrastructure. The full compliance with the cease-fire regime is an important step towards the full implementation of the Minsk agreements, which are the basis for a peaceful and sustainable settlement of the conflict based on respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine ", said the EU statement.
The UK authorities also pointed to the need for a complete cease-fire in accordance with the Minsk agreements.
"I urge all parties to show restraint, and also ask to provide assistance in the restoration and repairing of all vital communications and assistance in support of the population suffering. Sanctions against Russia could not be withdrawn before the full implementation of Minsk agreements, " said the head of the British Foreign Office, Boris Johnson.
Lithuania also expressed its position. Lithuanian MFA stated that country was concerned about the news from Avdiivka.
The Council of Europe also expressed its "deep concern" about what is happening. Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland called for an immediate cessation of hostilities and respect to the ceasefire regime.
"I’m deeply concerned about the coming from Donbas news and reports of heavy fighting that led to the many victims and resulted in the deterioration of the humanitarian situation, affected many civilians, including children," he said.
Further, the US State Department expressed "deep concern" in connection with the outbreak of violence in Avdiivka and the worsening of humanitarian situation.
"In order to prevent a large humanitarian crisis, we call for an immediate ceasefire, sustainable, full and unimpeded access of OSCE observers. We also reaffirm US support for full implementation of the Minsk agreements", said in a statement Acting US State Department spokesman Mark Toner.
And the OSCE member states, which observers were accused of inactivity, called to oblige Russia to support the ceasefire and implement the Minsk agreements.
The "deep concern" was also voiced in the UN. The representative of the UN Secretary General Stefan Dyuzharrik voiced the same requirements as the EU and the US: to stop the fighting, to fully comply with the ceasefire, to provide immediate and unimpeded humanitarian access to the population, to ensure safe access of the Special OSCE monitoring mission.
Initially, the delegation of Ukraine initiated the discussion of the worsening of hostilities in Avdiivka in the UN Security Council. It was a meeting in the format of the closed consultations of the Security Council members. Based on its results, a press statement proposed by the Ukrainian side was made. It is symbolic that today Ukraine has begun to chair the United Nations Security Council. Poroshenko said that Kyiv in connection with the chairmanship of the United Nations will take every opportunity to protect against armed aggression of the Russian Federation.
What the world media wrote about Avdiivka?
The situation in Avdiivka is now on the front pages of the world media. The New York Times published an article titled "Ukraine war heats up as US seeks thaw with Russia."
“Ukrainian soldiers receive SMS messages (they often carry mobile phones with them), which say:" You are just a meat for your commanders, " the newspaper writes.
The Financial Times published a response of Ambassador of Ukraine in the United Kingdom Natalia Galibarenko on their article. The new article was published under the title "Russia is deliberately destabilizing Ukraine", where the ambassador responded to the previous article of Financial Times “Violence rises in east Ukraine as each side blames the other”. In it she stated that “We are eager to move the Minsk process forward, but cannot do this while Russian forces are shelling and killing Ukrainian soldiers, deliberately attempting to once again destabilise the situation.”
The German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung accused Kyiv of escalating the conflict near Avdiivka: “According to the data, Berlin is up, based on the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine reports, it is Ukrainian soldiers who try to move the frontline for their own benefit. It’s obvious that they are taking into account the growth of the tensions, governmental authorities of Berlin consider. According to some German officials, their actions may lay account with such an escalation of the situation that they will be able to prevent the plans of the U.S. President Donald Trump on sanctions relief. Berlin treats Poroshenko’s actions as a way that he will stoop nearly to anything to prevent lifting anti-Russian sanctions.”
The French newspaper Le Figaro emphasized the numerous victims of the fighting in Avdiivka.
"For two days, at least 13 people were killed in Avdiivka, in the battles between the Ukrainian military and separatists", the newspaper writes.
The Washington Post prepared an article named “Trump is sworn in, rockets fall on Ukraine”: “Could it have been just a coincidence that Russian-backed forces in Ukraine launched their biggest offensive in months the day after Vladimir Putin spoke by phone with President Trump? Somehow, we doubt it. Rather, the volleys of Grad rockets and heavy artillery that have been raining down on Ukrainian army positions since Sunday look a lot like a test of whether the new president will yield to pressure from Moscow,” said in the article.
While the world is expressing concern, Avdiivka residents prepare for possible evacuation. Today, militants launched another attempt to storm the positions of Armed Forces of Ukraine near the town and continue shelling.