Rebel leader warns of offensive against Ukraine

Kiev, Jan 23 (IANS) Alexandr Zakharchenko, leader of independence-seeking insurgents in eastern Ukraine, Friday said the rebel forces were going to step up offensive on Ukrainian positions to capture more government-controlled territories, Xinhua reported.

“We would advance the offensive through to the borders of Donetsk region, but if I see a threat anywhere else, it would be eliminated,” Zakharchenko was quoted by local media as saying during his meeting with students in Donetsk.

The insurgent offensive is now underway near the towns of Majorsk, Avdeevka and Ocheretyno in Donetsk region and near several urban communities in the neighbouring Lugansk region, Zakharchenko said.

In addition, the rebel leader said that insurgents were not going to initiate new peace talks with Kiev.

“For our part, there will be no more attempts to talk about the ceasefire,” Zakharchenko added.

Over a dozen of cities and towns in Donetsk region and the same number in Lugansk region were now under the full control of insurgents, who have proclaimed “independence” from Kiev in April.

The latest round of peace talks on the eastern Ukraine conflict was held Wednesday in Berlin among Ukrainian, Russian, German and French foreign ministers, who urged all sides involved in the confrontation to cease hostilities.


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