Vladimir Putin was accused by Ukraine’s Prime Minister, Areseniy Yatseniuk, that he plans to destroy Ukraine. Renewed fighting took place near an airport in the Easter part of the country, marking one of the incidents that underscore the agreed cease-fire fragility.
According to Yatseniuk, the country needs to be a NATO member as it is the only way to defend itself.
Western backers and authorities in Kiev accuse Russia of constantly sending tanks and troops into Eastern Ukraine, supporting the pro-Russian rebels that battle Ukrainian forces. Russia denies accusations.
The conflict between government forces and pro-Russian separatists lead to over 3,000 deaths till now.
The current cease-fire agreement has been in place since September 5 and was negotiated by representatives of Ukraine, Russia, pro-Russian separatists and the OSCE.
Although the cease-fire is generally holding, in key locations like Donetsk, there are incidents and loud explosions heard.
PM Yatseniuk talked at a conference held on Saturday with European and Ukrainian lawmakers and important business leaders. He declared:
“We are still in a stage of war and the key aggressor is the Russian Federation. Putin wants another frozen conflict.
His goal is to take all of Ukraine. Russia is a threat to the global order and to the security of the whole of Europe.”
According to Andriy Lysenko, military spokesman, in the past 24 hours 12 rebels and 1 soldier were killed. No specifications were mentioned about where incidents took place.