Photo from UNIAN

Retired United States Army officer who served as commanding general at United States Army Europe (USAREUR) Ben Hodges has said Russian officers are present at all levels in Russia-occupied Donbas, eastern Ukraine, and the so-called "separatists" violate the ceasefire with Russia's permission.

Read alsoU.S. General names major challenges facing Ukraine troops in Donbas

"The so-called 'Kremlin-backed separatists,' who are actually Russian officers of different ranks, do not respect the [peace] agreements, do not respect the OSCE. And before holding talks with Russia, it is necessary to ensure it implements the agreements," he said in an interview to the Ukrainian-registered Apostrophe online media outlet, commenting on violations of the ceasefire in Donbas.

According to Hodges, any person who has at least some military experience or gets intelligence information will not believe that the occupation forces in Donbas act on their own.

He also says that OSCE reports show that Ukraine adheres to the ceasefire much better, and therefore it has moral superiority over Russia.