Russia says Kiev behind deteriorating situation in east Ukraine

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 11, 2015 10:07 AM

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Moscow urged Kiev to end its "irresponsible actions" in east Ukraine, a day after the Ukrainian military reported the heaviest shelling by Russian-backed rebels since a truce was agreed in February.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday the situation on the front line had deteriorated in recent days.

"Unfortunately, Kiev's bellicose rhetoric has sharply increased," the ministry said.

"We call on the Ukrainian side to show restraint and not violate the implementation of the Minsk agreements on security with irresponsible actions," the statement said, referring to the ceasefire deal agreed in the Belarusian capital in February.

Ukraine on Monday accused the rebels of carrying out the heaviest artillery attacks since the truce was agreed.

Kiev and the West say Russia is the driving force behind the rebellion in east Ukraine and have slapped sanctions on Moscow over the conflict.

Moscow sides with the rebels but denies allegations that it has sent serving Russian troops to east Ukraine or provided the militants with arms.

More than 6,500 people have been killed since the conflict erupted in spring 2014.

(Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Jack Stubbs and Andrew Roche)