"Permanent Delegation of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly addresses with the deep concern resulting from the activation of Russian terrorist forces in the Donbas and, particularly, shelling of the town of Avdiivka that brings to a humanitarian catastrophe threatening peaceful population.
"Since January 29, 2017, Russian occupation troops are carrying out mass shelling with the weapons prohibited by the Minks agreements, specifically, with "Grad" MLRS; 152 mm and 122 mm artillery systems; 120 mm and 82 mm mortars; tanks, as well as small arms. Violation of the Minsk agreement by the Russian party resulted in eight Ukrainian military men killed, 26 military men injured, and also in losses among civilians.
"Shelling of populated areas carries out from the residential sector of occupied Donetsk. Artillery strikes has caused de-energizing of the towns of Avdiivka and Yasynuvata, rendered inoperable water and heat supply systems, closed schools.
"Hospital of the town of Avdiivka is harmed by the shelling. The outside temperature reaches minus 25 degrees Celsius complicating the humanitarian situation," the letter reads.
"Please note that shelling of populated areas, particularly, residential districts, social infrastructure facilities (schools and kindergartens) is unlawful, groundless and extensive destruction of property not caused by military needs and is a gross violation of the Geneva Convention of August 12, 1949. The Donbas escalation repeats the Russian Federation tactic in Syrian Aleppo aimed at a complete destruction of residential settlements with their population and triggering of a humanitarian crisis to create migration waves.
"The Russian Federation continues to blatantly ignore its own obligations under the Minsk agreements with intent to disallow stabilization of the situation and achievement of any progress in the security and humanitarian spheres.
"We call upon the Russian Federation to immediately stop the warfare and fully comply with the ceasefire regime.
"We address to the NATO Parliament Assembly members with a request to inform their National Parliaments on the situation in the Anti-Terrorist Operation zone in eastern Ukraine and to strengthen political and diplomatic pressure in order to stop the dangerous escalation in the Donbas and avoid a humanitarian catastrophe in the region," the delegation adds.
Earlier, the Donetsk civil-military state administration said a permission of the Joint Center for Control and Coordination was necessary to start repair works in Avdiivka.
Governor Zhebrivskyi later noted the Russian side issued a written guarantee on cessation of hostilities from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, militants failed to cease fire.
The fighting in the vicinity of Avdiivka has been underway since late Saturday, Jan. 28. Ukrainian soldiers bravely hold their lines, according to the military sources.
Three days into fighting, Ukrainian soldiers have managed to take enemy positions and improved their tactical set-up in the area. Unfortunately, casualties were reported among the military.
On Jan. 30, enemy strikes left the government-controlled town of Avdiivka without electricity, water and heat.
In the evening of Jan. 30, a state of emergency was declared in Avdiivka.
As reported by the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) Staff press center, militants carry out not stop attacks on Ukrainian positions near the town.
A regional coordination center to aid local population has been set up.