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Luhansk republic withdraws heavy weaponry to show it keeps its word — LPR leader

December 11, 2014, 19:17 UTC+3 LUGANSK

Self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic leader says the Ukrainian army kept shelling towns and cities despite ceasefire agreements

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LPR leader Igor Plotnitsky with self-defense militiamen in Luhansk

LPR leader Igor Plotnitsky with self-defense militiamen in Luhansk

© Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS

LUHANSK, eastern Ukraine, December 11 /TASS/. Militias in the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) have started withdrawing heavy weapons from the demarcation line under the Minsk agreements, the LPR leader, Igor Plotnitsky, said on Thursday.

“Today we intentionally showed that we were withdrawing military hardware to the boundaries established by the Minsk agreements. Unlike Ukraine, we have always kept our word,” the newly formed Luhansk Information Center, the LPR’s official news agency, quoted Plotnitsky as saying.

“If one of the parties fails to meet its commitments or is doing it partly, the treaty becomes senseless,” the LPR leader went on to say adding it is the fourth agreement between the Kiev authorities and the Luhansk People’s Republic.

He added that despite the previously reached ceasefire agreements, the Ukrainian army has kept shelling the LPR’s towns and cities killing dozens of peaceful civilians.

Vitaly Kiselyov, the deputy commander of the LPR’s people’s militia corps, said in turn that the militia forces have started to withdraw artillery with a caliber exceeding 100mm to 15 kilometers away from the demarcation line near the Tryokhizbyonka and Vesyolaya Gora populated localities.

A Contact Group for settling the Ukraine crisis met in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, on September 5. Representatives of the Kiev authorities, Ukraine’s south-eastern regions, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and Russia adopted a peace settlement plan and a ceasefire agreement.

Two weeks later, on September 20, the Contact Group for Ukraine adopted a 9-point memorandum on the ceasefire implementation. The document contains a ban on using all types of weapons and a demand for each of the parties to withdraw heavy weapons with a caliber exceeding 100mm to 15 kilometers away from the contact line.

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