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Ukraine President Warns Of Conflict Escalation, Possible 'Martial Law'

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko visited the Lviv region on August 18.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko visited the Lviv region on August 18.

Ukraine’s president has said the likelihood of an escalation of the conflict with Russia and Russia-back separatists in eastern Ukraine “remains significant” and said he cannot rule out “a full-scale Russian invasion.”

Speaking in the Lviv region on August 18, Poroshenko said that if the situation in eastern Ukraine and the region of Crimea, which Russia forcibly annexed from Ukraine in 2014, continues to deteriorate, “we will have to impose martial law and order mobilization.”

Poroshenko accused “the enemy” of trying to undermine the Minsk peace process aimed at settling the conflict and of making “absolutely irresponsible statements” about possibly withdrawing from the so-called Normandy format of talks.

Earlier, the military said three Ukrainian soldiers were killed in fighting against the Russia-backed separatists.

Military spokesman Oleksanr Motuzyank said separatists fired more than 500 mortar shells and over 300 artillery shells in the last 24 hours in what he said was “a similar level of intensity of fire” to what the country experienced a year ago.

According to the UN, more than 9,500 people have been killed in the conflict since it began in early 2014.

Based on reporting by Interfax and AFP

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