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DONETSK, January 23. /TASS/. The self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics have not received an official invitation from Kiev authorities to join Minsk peace talks aimed at easing the conflict in Ukraine, the republics’ representatives said on Friday.
Denis Pushilin, the Donetsk republic’s chief negotiator, and Vladislav Deinego, the negotiator from Luhansk, said that without an official invitation from Kiev the next meeting of a contact group involving Ukrainian, Russian and international officials would not take place.
The negotiators noted, however, that the contact group, which usually brings together Ukraine, Russia, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), should continue its work even despite recent tragic events in Donetsk, where a mortar shell hit a trolleybus stop on Thursday morning killing 13 civilians.
On January 18, Ukrainian presidential adviser Yury Biryukov said that the Ukrainian military had received orders to open massive fire on the positions of the militias in the military operation zone in the country’s south-east.
Kiev, therefore, de facto violated the “silence regime” which was introduced in Donbas on December 9. Leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic Alexander Zakharchenko earlier said the republic was hit by all types of weapons at Kiev’s disposal.
In November-December, President Petro Poroshenko sent to the Ukrainian military a significant amount of weaponry, including heavy artillery systems. Shortly before the conflict escalation, Ukraine’s parliament adopted a law on three mobilization waves in 2015.