Russian state news reported on Thursday that Ukrainian security forces have shelled the pro-Moscow region of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, citing reports from the Donetsk People's Republic representative office in the Joint Center for Control and Coordination of the Ceasefire Regime (JCCC).
State news agency RIA-Novosti quoted the report as saying the shelling was in the direction of the village of the Trudovskaya mine, on the outskirts of Donetsk, at 2:40 a.m. Ten 120mm mortars had been fired, heavy weapons that are prohibited by the Minsk agreements, according to the reports.
Russian state television also reported heavy fire in separatist-held parts of eastern Ukraine. CNN could not immediately verify those reports.
The US State Department has warned that Russia may use so-called false flags, including claims that Ukraine is attacking Donetsk, to justify an invasion.
Some background: The 2015 Minsk agreement was hammered out in the Belarusian capital in a bid to end what was then a bloody 10-month conflict in eastern Ukraine. But it has never been fully implemented, with its key issues still unresolved.
It was was signed by representatives of Russia, Ukraine, the separatist leaders and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). It was subsequently endorsed by a UN Security Council resolution. This put an end to the worst of the fighting at the time.