Deadly fights started against between pro-Russian rebels and Ukrainian military forces around the Donetsk Airport, an area that is considered as being of strategic importance by both sides. The current cease-fire is tested as 3 civilians and 9 Ukrainian soldiers died during shelling on Sunday, according to government officials.
Petro Poroshenko, Ukrainian president, declared that the cease-fire is an important part of the peace plan and did declare that the “biggest, most dangerous part of the war” was behind the country.
The problem seems to be that important positions that are held by the Ukrainian forces are located at a junction between the cities of Luhansk and Donetsk, currently occupied by the rebels.
New conflicts appear at a critical time as rebel, Russian and Ukrainian military officials are currently meeting in order to negotiate a long-lasting stop for the conflict. Discrepancies appear when referring to territory lines that were discussed and that are actually in place.
According to pro-Russian rebels, the airport should be theirs but Ukrainian forces keep coming in to defend it.
Aleksandr Lentsov, deputy commander of Russia’s ground forces, is leading an army delegation with the official target of establishing a stop in the conflicts. He met with both Ukrainian and pro-Russian rebel representative.
Russia is currently trying to minimize the mediating role it has but an interview with Lentsov showed him saying:
“There are questions where we have found common ground, and some questions are problematic. Our main task is a cease-fire. Both sides should understand that.”
The Donetsk airport is highly important for both sides as, when repaired, it can be a supply line for the Ukrainian military or for the rebel state.