The agency which is monitoring the cease fire in Eastern Ukraine says that the ceasefire is holding in most places except some pockets like Debaltseve and Luhansk where there have been reports of artillery fire. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s Michael Bociurkiw in Ukraine informed BBC News that that their teams had not been given access to some areas. Spokesmen of both the government and the pro Russian rebels have said that there has been some shelling around the besieged town of Debaltseve.
There have been reports that Ukraine rebels have rejected the new truce on Sunday hours after it took effect and said that it will not apply to the town which has seen some of the fiercest fighting in recent weeks.
Meanwhile guns fell silent across most of Eastern Ukraine after cease fire agreement went into force. The ceasefire agreement was hammered out after marathon talks between Russia, Ukraine France and Germany. However with the pro Russian rebels refusing to accept the ceasefire at Debaltseve, where Ukrainian army forces were encircled, and the future of the ceasefire agreement looks bleak at its very onset.
Senior rebel commander Eduard Basurin told Reuters, “Of course we can open fire (on Debaltseve). It is our territory. The territory is internal: ours. And internal is internal. But along the line of confrontation there is no shooting.”
The Organization for Security and Cooperation, which has been entrusted with the task of enforcing the ceasefire agreement, had said that their observers were denied access to Debaltseve. The organization has reported that there is continuous firing in the city, one of a few aberrations to a truce that was otherwise largely being observed.
Both the sides have blamed each other for the violations of the ceasefire agreement. Debaltseve was the epicenter of the recent bout of fighting and it is difficult to talk about truce if the Ukrainian troops are encircled in the city and the rebels continue with their advance.
Both sides blamed what firing there was on the enemy. But Debaltseve has been the focus of fighting for weeks, and it will be hard to speak of a truce if Ukrainian troops remain trapped there under fire, or the rebels press on with their advance.