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MOSCOW, February 13. /TASS/. The current escalation of violence in Ukraine’s southeast comes due to Kiev authorities’ attempts to mar Russia’s relations with the new US administration, Russian Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov told a news conference on Monday.
Earlier reports said that the Russian Investigative Committee had irrefutable evidence of the Ukrainian armed forces’ using Tochka-U missile systems in the country’s troubled southeast.
"Russian President Vladimir Putin rather clearly described recently the reason behind the escalation (in the southeast of Ukraine)," Zyuganov said. "He said they were running out of money, they had wrecked their economy, the utilities sector was on its last legs, and there were no other options left but to once again engage in violence," the CPRF leader said.
"The assessment is correct, but on the other hand the gang that has seized power there is doing all not to be forgotten by Europe and to put us at odds with the new US administration," Zyuganov added.
The situation along the line of contact in Donbass sharply deteriorated early in February. There have been casualties among civilians as a result of shelling by the Kiev troops, and also major damage to dwellings and infrastructure.
The Contact Group for a settlement of the conflict in the east of Ukraine met in session in Minsk on February 1 to demand both parties observe truce in Donbass and move all weapons and military equipment away from the engagement line back to the original storage sites by February 5. According to the Donetsk Republic’s operative command Kiev has brought more military equipment towards the line of engagement instead.
Under the package of measures for the implementation of the Minsk Accords of February 12, 2015 all weapons with a caliber of above 100 mm should be pulled back to sites located no less than 50 kilometers away from each other, multiple rocket launches, to sites 70 kilometers away, and multiple rocket launchers Tornado-S, Uragan and Smerch and also Tochka missiles, to sites 140 kilometers away from each other. Under an addendum to the Package of Measures, artillery pieces with calibers of 100 mm and less, tanks and 120 mm mortars are to be pulled back, too.