VILNIUS - Fighting in Ukraine is continuing and the truce there is a ceasefire "in name only," NATO's top military commander said on Saturday.
"The situation in Ukraine is not good right now," US Air Force General Philip Breedlove told reporters in Vilnius. "Basically, we have ceasefire in name only."
"The number of events, and the number of rounds fired and the artillery used across the past few days match some of the pre-cease-fire levels. The ceasefire is still there in name, but what is happening on the ground is quite a different story."
Breedlove said he hopes a memorandum signed on Saturday for the withdrawal of heavy weapons, including artillery, and all foreign fighters from a 30 km-wide buffer zone will help calm the situation.
Speaking after a meeting of chiefs of defense of NATO countries, Breedlove, who is NATO's Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, and commander of US forces in Europe, said Russia has moved some of its forces inside Ukraine to the south to bring pressure on the port city of Mariupol.
Asked whether Russia's objective is linking up with its forces in Crimea along the Ukrainian coast, he said: "I would not speculate on what their intention is, but they certainly have put in place a military capability to take action along that coast if they chose to do it."