DONETSK, October 18. /TASS/. At least 15 civilians in the city of Donetsk were killed in shelling over the past 24 hours, Prime Minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Aleksandr Zakharchenko said on Saturday.
Earlier in the day, the Donetsk city council said that two residential households were destroyed by artillery shelling.
On October 11, Zakharchenko announced that the DPR jointly with the Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) were introducing “a silence regime.”
On Tuesday evening, the Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council’s information and analysis centre announced the so-called “silence regime” during which combat operations and shelling in the contact zone of Kiev’s troops and south-eastern militias should be stopped.
In turn, the Defence Ministry of the DPR said it had not received any notifications from the Kiev authorities on the new cessation of fire.
Zakharchenko said that despite the announced by Kiev “silence regime”, the Ukrainian troops used residential districts in a number of localities to deploy there multiple launch rocket systems for shelling Donetsk.
According to the United Nations, some 3,700 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 during talks mediated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in the Belarusian capital Minsk on September 5. The ceasefire took effect the same day but reports say it has occasionally been violated.
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 withdrawal of weapons with the calibres of over 100 millimetres to a distance of 15 kilometres from the contact line from each side. The OSCE was tasked with controlling the implementation of memorandum provisions.