Lavrov says Russia-Belarus relations developing in working modeRussian Politics & Diplomacy February 21, 21:48
Condolence book in memory of Churkin opened at Russia’s Permanent Mission to UNWorld February 21, 20:53
Ukrainian billionaire Dmitry Firtash detained in Vienna at Spain’s requestWorld February 21, 20:40
UN secretary-general offers Lavrov condolences on Churkin’s deathWorld February 21, 19:53
OPEC does not see problems regarding growth of Russian oil exportBusiness & Economy February 21, 19:46
Kremlin to bake 100,000 pancakes for MaslenitsaSociety & Culture February 21, 19:23
Production of Mercedes Benz cars to start in Russia in 2019Business & Economy February 21, 18:43
UN Security Council holds a minute of silence in memory of Russia’s deceased envoyWorld February 21, 18:30
Russia and US might launch joint operations against terrorists in Raqqa — ministerWorld February 21, 18:17
“Some 26,000 people have already returned home. We also register the growth of lines at checkpoints between our republic and Russia from those willing to return,” Morozova told ITAR-TASS. She also said the number of those willing to leave the DPR has considerably gone down.
“Earlier, we organized bus trips to the Russian Federation nearly each day, but now we only do that once a week, as the number of those who want to leave the city has considerably decreased,” she said.
“Moreover, in some districts of Donetsk and Makeyevka, there are traffic jams, which means people are gradually returning home,” the official said.
Peace settlement process has intensified in Ukraine’s southeast as the region’s authorities start rebuilding the Donbass.
According to reports from regional centers in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic, authorities manage to coordinate activities to normalise the situation. Salaries and pensions are being paid on a regular basis. Work is underway to rebuild schools and childcare centers.
According to United Nations data, as of early September, the number of people who have left their homes as a result of an armed conflict in eastern Ukraine exceeded 1 million people.
The UN says some 3,500 people have been killed and hundreds of thousands have fled Ukraine’s war-torn southeast as a result of clashes between Ukrainian troops and local militias in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions during Kiev’s military operation to regain control over the breakaway territories, which call themselves the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s republics (DPR and LPR).
The parties to the Ukrainian conflict agreed on cessation of fire and exchange of prisoners during talks mediated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on September 5 in Belarusian capital Minsk two days after Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed his plan to settle the situation in the east of Ukraine.
On September 20 in Minsk, the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine comprising representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE adopted a memorandum outlining the parameters for the implementation of commitments on the ceasefire in Ukraine laid down in the Minsk Protocol of September 5.
The document contains nine points, including in particular a ban on the use of all armaments and their withdrawal 15 kilometers from the contact line from each side. The OSCE was tasked with controlling the implementation of memorandum provisions.
The document was signed by OSCE representative to Ukraine Heidi Tagliavini, ex-Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma, Russia’s ambassador in Kiev Mikhail Zurabov, DPR Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko and LPR head Igor Plotnitsky.
The talks also involved first deputy DPR premier Andrey Purgin and LPR Supreme Council chairman Alexey Karyakin.
Ukraine’s parliament on September 16 granted a special self-rule status to certain districts in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions for three years. Elections to local self-government bodies were set for December 7. The Verkhovna Rada also passed a law on amnesty for participants of combat activities in Ukraine’s troubled eastern regions.