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New ceasefire declared in Donbass ahead of new school year start

August 22, 19:51 UTC+3 MINSK

The Russian envoy stressed that this summer sees "the fewest number of victims among the civilians in all four years of the conflict in Ukraine"

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© Sergey Bobylev/TASS

MINSK, August 22. /TASS/. The Contact Group for the settlement in the east of Ukraine has agreed on a new ceasefire, Russian envoy to the Contact Group Boris Gryzlov said after a session in Minsk, adding that it is "declared from August 29 in connection with the start of a new schoolyear".

Earlier in the day, the subgroup for security agreed on declaring a ceasefire from August 29.

The Russian envoy stressed that this summer sees "the fewest number of victims among the civilians in all four years of the conflict in Ukraine".

He said the Contact Group "pointed to a need to implement the earlier agreements on the disengagement of military equipment and personnel to the coordinated upon sections and on the withdrawal of units of the Ukrainian Armed Forces from these sections". "Due to the activity of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the disengagement areas Zolotoye and Petrovskoye, combat positions of the sides in the conflict are now closer to each other than before the disengagement. We once again stated the importance of releasing and making public the orders ensuring the ceasefire," Gryzlov said.

He also said that no shelling has been reported in the area of Stanitsa Luganskaya since July 24. "Despite this, the Ukrainian Armed Forces are still taking no action to disengage forces,’ he stressed.

After a session in Minsk on Wednesday, the Contact Group issued an official statement on the ceasefire in Donbass from August 29. "The Trilateral Contact Group, with the participation of representatives from certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, confirms its full commitment to an indefinite ceasefire in connection with the start of a new school year, from 00:01 on August 29," the document said.

The sides in the conflict "commit themselves to taking all necessary action to ensure stability of the ceasefire". As for the monitoring, they commit themselves to "ensuring a safe access for the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to the whole territory of Ukraine, in line with its mandate".

The Wednesday’s ceasefire declared by the Contact Group will be the 21st attempt to stop hostilities in the region.

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