Fighting During 'Cease-Fire' In Ukraine Leaves 12 Dead

Despite much official talk about the ongoing cease-fire in Ukraine, deadly fighting between rebels and Ukrainian forces on the ground continues.

Fighting During 'Cease-Fire' In Ukraine Leaves 12 Dead
Getty Images / Sean Gallup

Despite reassurances from officials that the Ukrainian cease-fire is holding, the fighting on the ground — which has already claimed thousands of lives — is by all accounts continuing, and possibly even getting worse. 

The airport in Donetsk has been the scene of the latest fighting, with shelling killing 12 people on Sunday, according to Ukrainian officials — nine Ukrainian soldiers and three civilians. (Video via Sky News)   

The dispute over the airport reportedly traces back to the cease-fire, with rebels claiming Ukraine ceded the airport as part of the agreement.

And according to The New York Times, at least one Ukrainian official seems to have confirmed that. "The billionaire governor of the neighboring Dnipropetrovsk region, said that Ukraine had agreed to abandon the airport in exchange for a wide stretch of territory south of Donetsk."

The recent fighting is followed by more disturbing news — apparent new mass graves not far from Donetsk. (Video via RT)

CCTV: "Other victims who may have been killed weeks ago were just uncovered in three mass graves outside Donetsk. Villagers tell CCTV that Ukrainian troops buried them before pulling out of the area."

Russian media outlets report the mass graves each contain some four or five bodies, but the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe has been unable to investigate claims because of the fighting. 

As with the downing of MH17, which the OSCE also had trouble investigating, both the rebels and Ukrainian officials have blamed each other for the mass graves. (Video via CNN)

Despite the intensity of the fighting, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said last week the worst of the fighting is done and expressed confidence in the strength of the cease-fire. 

Those comments came as his administration pushed for a free-trade deal with the European Union, which would start at the end of 2015. Russian officials said they would respond if that deal goes through but didn't give any details. (Video via President of Ukraine)

Efforts are reportedly underway to get both Ukrainian and rebel forces to move their troops back to the edges of a 12-mile buffer zone that was established by the cease-fire. 

This video includes an image from Getty Images.