Just two days after a deal was reached in the Ukraine crisis, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko accused Russia of increasing their offensive against Kiev troops.
President Poroshenko warned that the peace deal, hammered out at the Minsk Summit by the "Normandy four" leaders, is in "great danger" after heavy fighting ensued ahead of Saturday night's ceasefire. Many fear that the ceasefire between the warring parties in east Ukraine will not hold.
According to BBC, rebel shelling reportedly killed two people in a café in Shchastya, near Lohansk, on Friday. A child was also killed in a school attack in Artemivsk, a town located near the strategic area of Debaltseve, Kiev-controlled regional authorities said.
The rebels, meanwhile, have claimed that at least six people had died in government shelling in the city of Donetsk and the town of Horlivka.
"After what we achieved in Minsk this is not just shelling of Ukrainian civilians and residential neighbourhoods - this is an attack on our Minsk achievements, without any explanations," President Poroshenko said.
"Unfortunately, after Minsk, Russia's offensive operations have intensified," the President said, adding, "We are still convinced that the Minsk achievements are in a big danger."
Eight Ukrainian service personnel were also killed and 34 wounded in fighting against pro-Russian separatists in the region on Wednesday.
Fighting was reported around Debaltseve, a key railway junction linking two rebel areas. Separatists attacked government forces holding the town with rockets and artillery, the statement added.
The ceasefire agreement that the leaders from Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France reached upon after 17-hour-long talks is being closely watched by analysts. Some fear that this peace plan will also fall apart just like the September deal.