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On Tuesday, during his visit to Ukraine, the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu Marko Mihkelson visited the city of Kramatorsk in Donetsk Oblast where just some weeks ago battles had been raging between Ukrainian government forces and rebels.

“The aim of the visit was to learn about the situation in eastern Ukraine, to communicate with the people and to observe the damage caused by the recent battles,” Mihkelson said. In his words, the situation in Donetsk Oblast remains tense, not to speak about active battles for several strategically important cities, including the Oblast centre.

“By today, Kramatorsk, back again under the control of Ukrainian authorities after two months under the rebels, is returning to normal life. At the same time, traces of battle can be seen in several parts of the town of 160 000. The residents with whom I managed to speak are still afraid, and wish to see peace established and to forget as soon as possible what has happened to them,” Mihkelson described what he had seen in Kramatorsk. He added that Ukrainian flag colours and slogans stressing the unity of the country can be seen everywhere in the city.

“Many local residents do not understand what has happened, and the overwhelming majority wish peaceful life to be restored under the Ukrainian state authority. The “separatists” are often seen simply as bandits who, for example, in Kramatorsk robbed car shops and caused serious damage to the functioning of the city,” Mihkelson said.