Russia’s Vladimir Putin condemns Ukraine for ending ceasefire

KIEV — Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused Ukraine over ending ceasefire and starting a full-on military operation against separatist forces.

Putin has made it clear that the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is to be blamed for the armed conflict, which has already claimed lives in Donetsk.

“Unfortunately, President Poroshenko has decided to resume military action,” said Putin when speaking to Russian ambassadors in Moscow. “Neither myself nor our colleagues from Europe have been able to convince him that war cannot lead to well-established and lasting peace.”

Poroshenko, on his end, blamed the victims and fighting on “criminal elements”.

“The decision not to continue the ceasefire is our answer to terrorists, militants and marauders,” Poroshenko said. He also accused the activists of multiple violations of the fragile truce between them and the Ukrainian government which was unilaterally called for.

At least four casualties were registered when shells hit the rebel-held town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk.

A teleconference on Monday between President Poroshenko, President Putin, French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel had sparked a hope of renewing the ceasefire and avoiding military conflict.

However, the conference did not result in much,  as Poroshenko still launched a full-scale military operation using aircraft and artillery.

Ukraine and some Western powers have thrown accusations at Russia for arming the separatist movement. So far, the Russian government has vehemently denied these claims.

The Ukraine crisis started late last year when Poroshenko’s predecessor, Viktor Yanukovych, refused to sign an EU trade deal, which solidified Ukraine’s relationship with Russia. His decision led to nation-wide protests and his eventual resignation.

Shortly afterwards, Russia annexed the Crimea region and eastern separatists declared independence from Ukraine.

The historical EU trade pact was signed by Petro Poroshenko last Friday.

— Antonia Velikova, Correspondent (Europe)

Image Courtesy: www.kremlin.ru, Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported | Wikimedia Commons