Peskov: offensive near Avdeevka - attempt of authorities to distract attention from situation in Ukraine

Ukrainian-backed forces undermined a peace deal over eastern Ukraine by launching an attack there on pro-Russian rebels yesterday, the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on a conference call with reporters.

He noted that Russia was extremely concerned by the incident, which he said undermined efforts to implement the Minsk peace accords.

"We regret that as a result of this attack people were killed on both sides. Such aggressive actions supported by the armed forces of Ukraine undermine the aims and the task of realising the Minsk accords," Reuters cited him as saying.

Peskov said the attack had been repelled by rebels and accused the Ukrainian authorities of organising the offensive as a ruse to try to distract attention away from domestic and other problems.

Ukraine's military said on Monday that the number of Ukrainian soldiers killed in what it called an offensive by pro-Russian separatists had risen to seven, in the deadliest outbreak of fighting in the east of the country since mid-December.

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