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MOSCOW, February 4. /TASS/. Four civilians have died in shelling of east Ukraine's self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) over the past 24 hours, local defense ministry spokesman Eduard Basurin said on Wednesday.
"Civilian casualties over the past 24 hours left four dead and 15 wounded," the Donetsk news agency quoted Basurin as saying.
Ukraine’s armed forces shelled Donetsk residential areas and suburbs more than 30 times over the past 24 hours, the spokesman added.
"A total of 36 violations have been recorded over the past 24 hours and 11 overnight," he said, noting particularly heavy fire around the city of Donetsk and the towns of Makeevka and Gorlovka.
Basurin also said Kiev has rejected a ceasefire initiative of the DPR offering unacceptable conditions.
In an official letter sent to Ukraine’s authorities on February 2, the Donetsk republic asked to introduce a "silence regime" near a district-level city Uglegorsk to evacuate civilians, the spokesman told the Donetsk news agency.
"We received an answer at around 1 a.m. on Tuesday that they agree. But they included four other cities which have no relation to Uglegorsk. The evacuation effort in Uglegorsk was conducted during the artillery fire," Barusin said.
The Luhansk republic’s negotiator, Vladislav Deinego, said on Tuesday that Kiev proposed establishing a silence regime in the cities of Debaltsevo, Uglegorsk, Svetlodarsk and Mironovsky with the aim to evacuate civilians.
The proposal however raised fears that the Ukrainian side could use the silence regime for taking the surrounded Ukrainian army and National Guard units from the encirclement rather than for evacuating civilians.