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DONETSK, August 24 /ITAR-TASS/. The Donetsk People’s Republic has put on display the Ukrainian army’ combat hardware destroyed by self-defense fighters, eyewitnesses said on Sunday.
The exhibits displayed on Lenin Square in the center of Donetsk comprise multiple launch rocket systems, howitzers, infantry and airborne combat vehicles that were used by the Ukrainian army in its military operation in the country’s east and destroyed by local self-defense fighters.
The display gathered thousand city dwellers. The press office of the Donetsk People’s Republic earlier said that “an anti-fascist meeting” would be held in the square at 3 p.m. Moscow time (12:00 p.m. GMT), which would be devoted to “the republic’s struggle against Ukrainian Nazism.”
Earlier on Sunday, the Kiev authorities reviewed a military parade involving personnel and combat hardware in the center of the Ukrainian capital to mark the 23rd anniversary of Ukraine’s independence amid the continued civil war in the country’s east.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko who reviewed the paraded vowed that columns of troops marching in the center of Kiev would be “dispatched straight to the area of combat operations” in east Ukraine.
Meanwhile, the Donetsk People’s Republic has decreed to cancel the Ukrainian National Holiday - Independence Day - on the republic’s territory.
Donetsk self-defense fighters encircle large Kiev military grouping
The army of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) has blocked completely a large grouping of Kiev’s military forces in six republican settlements, the self-defense militia reported on Sunday.
The headquarters of the 8th army corps, 28th and 30th motor rifle brigades, 95th Ukrainian air mobile brigade, punitive battalions Aidar, Donbass and Shakhtersk were entrapped, the DPR army headquarters said, citing reconnaissance data.
“Around five thousand servicemen with weapons and around 50 tanks, more than 200 combat armored vehicles, about 50 multiple launch rocket systems Grad and Uragan, more than 100 artillery guns and mortars were blocked in the trap,” the militia headquarters said.
The DPR army has tightened the assault on a military grouping of around two thousand servicemen from punitive battalions Azov and Dnepr, which are armed with around 30 tanks, more than 80 armored vehicles, over 60 artillery guns and mortars. DPR forces are destroying this Ukrainian grouping near the settlement of Olenovskoye, the militia headquarters added.
These successful military operations have become possible as the DPR army headquarters have decided to switch from military action by small units to full-scale operations by full-fledged formations and army units, the militia said.
“The DPR army headquarters have decided to give up action by small units and shift to military action by full-fledged formations and army units which are provided with full fire support,” the republican army headquarters said.
Three infantry brigades have been formed from militia units. A voluntary regiment has been set up to comprise Ukrainian servicemen, who have voluntarily taken the DPR side, and Donbass coalminers, the militia said.
“For the last two days, two tank battalions, three multiple launch rocket system battalions, two self-propelled howitzer battalions, three battalions of cannon artillery guns of different calibers and eight mortar batteries have been formed using military hardware and weaponry captured by militias in a counteroffensive operation for the last two days,” the DPR army headquarters said.
Pro-Kiev troops and local militias in the eastern Ukrainian Donetsk and Luhansk regions are involved in fierce clashes as the Ukrainian armed forces are conducting a military operation to regain control over the breakaway regions, which on May 11 proclaimed their independence at local referendums.
During the military operation, Kiev has used armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation. Many buildings have been destroyed and tens of thousands of people have had to flee Ukraine’s embattled east.