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DPR says militia did not shell bus “deep in Ukrainian territory”

January 13, 2015, 22:51 UTC+3

"This is very far from the contact line, the more so for mortars,” DPR People’s Council speaker said

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Andrey Purgin

Andrey Purgin

© Michail Pochuev/TASS

DONETSK, January 13. /TASS/. Militiamen of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) did not shell a bus near Volnovakha “deep on Ukrainian territory”, DPR People’s Council speaker Andrey Purgin told the Donetsk news agency.

Earlier Tuesday, Donetsk Region police chief Vyacheslav Abroskin claimed on his Facebook page that militiamen delivered an artillery strike on a roadblock of Ukrainian law enforcers from the side of the inhabited locality of Dokuchayevsk “hitting a bus with civilians.” He said 10 people died and 13 were wounded and hospitalized.

“We have no opportunity to shell this roadblock from the side of Telmanovo or Yelenovka. The Ukrainian side needs to sort out what happened deep on its territory. This is very far from the contact line, the more so for mortars,” Purgin said.

The DPR Defense Ministry also denied that the militia was involved in the incident.

“It’s a provocation on the part of Ukraine,” the ministry said.

The reception office of the Volnovakha central regional hospital’s chief physician did not confirm information that some people wounded as a result of the bus shelling were admitted.

Kiev’s military operation designed to regain control over the breakaway Donetsk and Lugansk regions in Ukraine’s southeast on the border with Russia, which call themselves the Donetsk and Lugansk People's republics, conducted since mid-April 2014, has left thousands of people dead, brought destruction and forced hundreds of thousands to flee.

The parties to the intra-Ukrainian conflict agreed on a ceasefire during talks mediated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on September 5, 2014 in Belarusian capital Minsk two days after Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed his plan to settle the situation in the east of Ukraine.

Numerous violations of the ceasefire, which took effect the same day, have been reported since.

A memorandum was adopted on September 19, 2014 in Minsk by the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine comprising representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE. The document outlined the parameters for the implementation of commitments on the ceasefire in Ukraine laid down in the Minsk Protocol of September 5.

The nine-point memorandum in particular envisioned a ban on the use of all armaments and withdrawal of weapons with the calibers of over 100 millimeters to a distance of 15 kilometers from the contact line from each side. The OSCE was tasked with controlling the implementation of memorandum provisions.

A "day of silence" in eastern Ukraine began at 09:00 a.m. local time (0700 GMT) on December 9 last year. It is seen as another attempt by both parties to the intra-Ukrainian conflict to put an end to hostilities.

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