Sunday 18 February 2018

Ukraine president warns of attack

Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko fears a rebel offensive
Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko fears a rebel offensive

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has warned of a possible large-scale offensive by separatist forces in the east.

The concerns come a day after a major battle erupted on the western edge of the main separatist rebel stronghold.

Hostilities on Wednesday left more than a dozen dead and brought a February cease-fire agreement between Russia-backed rebels and government troops to breaking point.

In his annual address at Parliament on Thursday, Mr Poroshenko spoke of a "colossal threat of the resumption of large-scale hostilities by Russian and terrorist forces" and said there are 9,000 Russian troops in the rebel-controlled area right now.

Russia has strongly denied supplying the rebels either with weapons or with recruits, despite mounting evidence suggesting otherwise.

Press Association

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