The ceasefire regime in eastern Ukraine, offered by the parties to Minsk Trilateral Contact Group, is failing, which causes heavy concerns. Angela Merkel, the German leader, said this at a briefing in Berlin, where she and her Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko discuss wide range of political, economic and security issues.
‘We found out once again that there is actually no ceasefire and soldiers keep on dying. This whole situation on the division line causes concerns. By the UN estimates, about 10,000 people already lost their lives in the conflict; so we’ve got to do everything to implement this mechanism, the Minsk agreement, although it’s really difficult. We believe that the Normandy Four is the right way (to bringing peace to Donbas, - 112 International), and we’ll keep on walking this way in spite of all the barriers so as to bring peace and political stability to Ukraine, and to restore the country’s territorial integrity. This won’t be easy,’ Merkel said.
Ukraine's Defense Ministry reports the ongoing escalation of the conflict in Donbas. In the early morning of January 29, Russia-backed militants landed mortar strikes on Avdiivka, the town in the vicinities of Donetsk, controlled by the Ukrainian forces. The Ukrainian troops took casualties – five dead and nine wounded; besides, four civilians were injured.