Monitors fear rising violence in eastern Ukraine

KIEV- International observers issued a stark warning over escalating violence in eastern Ukraine on Tuesday as Dutch investigators hoping to recover debris from a doomed airliner left the MH17 crash site with little progress.

The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said there was a “rising” risk that unrest in the war-torn region would worsen, and the Ukrainian envoy to the United Nations said Moscow was planning an all-out offensive.

“I think the UN should be informed ASAP that Russia is planning a full-scale invasion into Ukraine. The latest facts prove it and leave no doubts,” said Yuriy Sergeyev.

A fragile ceasefire has been in place in the east of the former Soviet republic since September but has been regularly shaken by localised outbreaks of fighting.

“The level of violence in eastern Ukraine and the risk of further escalation remain high and are rising,” Michael Bociurkiw of the OSCE’s Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine told a news conference in Kiev.

Earlier Tuesday, OSCE observers reported seeing a convoy of 43 unmarked military trucks — five towing Howitzer heavy artillery pieces and another five multi-launch rocket systems — travelling into the rebel stronghold of Donetsk.