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Cease-Fire in Eastern Ukraine Violated 2,400 Times: OSCE Official

VIENNA — The cease-fire in eastern Ukraine is all but dead, according to Ukraine's representative to the Organisation of Security and Co-operation in Europe. The truce, which the OSCE is monitoring, was agreed in the Belarusian capital Minsk on Sept. 5 after weeks of fighting between Ukrainian government forces and separatists. It was now barely possible to still speak of a cease-fire, Ihor Prokopchuk was quoted as telling the Austrian newspaper Die Presse in an interview.

"Since the Minsk agreement ...we have more than 2,400 breaches of the cease-fire by militant groups. More than 100 Ukrainian soldiers and dozens of civilians have been killed," he said. The truce has been violated daily, and increasingly since the rebels held what the West and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said were illegitimate leadership elections on Nov. 2. The conflict's death toll has passed 4,000. Prokopchuk said Ukrainian troops had not broken the cease-fire. "All Ukrainian troops have been given the order to adhere to the cease-fire. But when they are being attacked, they react."

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- Reuters