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OSCE Envoy Says Ukraine Cease-Fire All But Dead

A ball is seen near a crater caused by shelling at a school's soccer field in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine on Nov. 6, 2014.

The cease-fire in eastern Ukraine is all but dead, Ukraine's representative to the Organization of Security and Co-operation in Europe, or OSCE, told Austrian newspaper Die Presse.

The truce, which the OSCE is monitoring, was agreed in the Belarussian 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 newspaper 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 death toll has passed 4,000 since the truce was agreed, with Kiev accusing Moscow of sending more troops into eastern Ukraine last week.

Russia has repeatedly denied that it has sent money or aid to the separatists and denies that it is a party to the conflict.

Prokopchuk said Ukrainian troops had not broken the cease-fire.

"All Ukrainian troops have been given the order to adhere to the ceasefire. But when they are being attacked, they react."

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