KYIV, July 29 - The new ceasefire for eastern Ukraine appears to have faltered, with more than 100 violations recorded within days of it having gone into effect this week, according to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
The OSCE, which independently monitors the conflict between the Ukrainian military and pro-Russian rebel groups, said the violations had been concentrated within Ukraine's Donetsk region, whereas the neighbouring Luhansk region, also involved in the conflict, appeared relatively calm.
The OSCE "recorded 111 ceasefire violations, all in the Donetsk region, including 21 explosions", it said in a report issued on Tuesday night, without indicating which side had committed the violations.
Ukrainian, Russian and OSCE negotiators last week agreed on a full ceasefire in eastern Ukraine from Monday, putting on hold the military conflict that has claimed more than 13,000 lives since 2014.
The current ceasefire was backed by the presidents of Russia and Ukraine, Vladimir Putin and Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who agreed “the need for an urgent implementation of extra measures to support the ceasefire regime in Donbass.”
The Ukrainian military and the Donetsk rebel groups have traded blame for violating the ceasefire, which came into effect on Monday at midnight.
There have been more than 20 ceasefire attempts in the six years of conflict in Ukraine's two eastern regions near the Russian border. All of the ceasefire attempts have failed.
Ukraine and Russia have been foes since 2014, when Moscow seized Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula and backed the rebellion in the east.
Major combat ended with a ceasefire agreed in the Belarus capital Minsk in 2015, but sporadic clashes still regularly kill civilians, Ukrainian soldiers and separatists.
Russia, which represents the rebels in international negotiations, has long denied allegations that it is directly involved in the conflict.
Ukraine reiterated that allegation this week, claiming the Russian military had been violating the ceasefire. (om/rt/ez)