Sir, Regarding your report “Violence rises in east Ukraine as each side blames the other” (January 31): Ukraine is committed to a peaceful settlement to the conflict in Donbas in line with the Minsk Agreement, as President Petro Poroshenko reaffirmed alongside German chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday. We do not want, and have not sought, a war with Russia. Unfortunately, Russia has once again escalated attacks in eastern Ukraine, in violation of the ceasefire, claiming the lives of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians. Just in the past two days, the occupying Russian forces carried out attacks with weapons prohibited under the Minsk agreements, including MLRS “Grad”, 152mm and 122mm artillery, 120mm and 82mm mortars and tanks. Five Ukrainian soldiers were killed, 24 wounded.

Russian shelling has also left 400,000 civilians around the cities of Yasinovata and Avdiyivka with no access to water, electricity and heating. Given the harsh weather conditions and continued shelling by militants, the humanitarian situation in the area continues to deteriorate.

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.

Natalia Galibarenko

Ambassador of Ukraine to the UK

Letter in response to this letter:

Deal is straightforward yet Kiev drags its feet / From Alexander Yakovenko, Russian Ambassador to the UK

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