Germany on Wednesday condemned a rebel offensive in eastern Ukraine against the strategic town of Debaltseve as a "heavy strain" on hopes for peace.
Berlin "strongly condemns the military actions of the separatists in Debaltseve", said Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert, calling it a "major violation" of the latest truce deal reached in Minsk.
The offensive "brings great suffering to the population" of the region and places "a heavy strain on the agreement and on peace hopes for eastern Ukraine", he said.
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