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DONETSK, September 05. /ITAR-TASS/. Combat operations in Donetsk, Luhansk self-proclaimed republics have been suspended for now, a high-ranking source from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) told ITAR-TASS on Friday.
“There have been no reports about military hostilities in the DPR and LPR over the past 15 minutes. The sides stopped shooting,” the source said, adding the military commanders were waiting for the outcome of the Contact Group’s meeting in Minsk. “It remains to be seen what happens next,” the DPR source said.
Militiamen of DPR and LPR hold more than 1,000 Ukrainian servicemen captive, a source in the DPR Defense Ministry told ITAR-TASS. He said Ukraine holds some 200 militiamen captive.
The DPR did not confirm to ITAR-TASS whether the exchange of prisoners of war will start Saturday, but said they are ready to do that at any time.
Ceasefire agreement signed in Minsk
Earlier on Friday, the Contact Group signed a ceasefire protocol and a 12-point peace plan, the participants in the Minsk meeting told journalists after a short break.
“Most of the points meet our demands. But a ceasefire does not mean that we are going to give up our course towards separation from Ukraine,” Igor Plotnitsky, the head of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic, said.
Alexander Zakharchenko, the prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, said in turn that the ceasefire would save many human lives.
Poroshenko orders ceasefire
President Petro Poroshenko ordered the chief of staff of Ukrainian armed forces to cease fire at 6pm (local time) on September 5, the Ukrainian president’s press service reported on Friday.
Poroshenko also ordered Ukraine’s foreign minister to ensure effective international control over the bilateral ceasefire jointly with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).