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LUGANSK, February 8. /TASS/. The self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) will make another attempt on Sunday to organise a humanitarian corridor for evacuation of local residents from the village of Chernukhino in the area of combat activities, LPR leader Igor Plotnitsky said on Saturday.
"The situation in Chernukhino remains tense as Ukraine does not want to organise a humanitarian corridor," Plotnitsky said. "But we are going to evacuate everybody we will be able to."
"People are fleeing the area on their own - by bus, by cars, etc.," he said adding everything had been done for meeting them in the unrecognised republic.
On Friday Plotnitsky said that an agreement had been reached with Kiev military to open a humanitarian corridor at 10.00 a.m. for evacuation of residents from Chernukhino. However, when about 200 people had left the area, the Ukrainian military opened mortar fire, wounding three.
Combat actions between the Ukrainian military and militias of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics during Kiev’s military operation in the country’s east conducted since mid-April 2014 have claimed over 5,300 lives and displaced nearly a million people to flee their homes seeking refuge in neighbouring countries, according to UN data.
Mediatory efforts of Russia and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) yielded results in September when talks between the parties to the Ukrainian conflict were held in Belarusian capital Minsk two days after Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed his plan to settle the situation in the east of Ukraine.
Two weeks later, on September 20 the Contact Group adopted a memorandum on implementing a ceasefire. The nine-item document includes a ban on all weapons, pulling back heavy weapons from the line of engagement and setting up a buffer zone of 15 kilometres. It also entrusts the OSCE with a task of controlling implementation of the agreements.
On December 9 the parties to the conflict announced "the regime of silence" in the area of Kiev’s combat operation in Donbass aiming to come over to implementation of the Minsk accords.
Both Kiev and the self-proclaimed republics declared an urgency to pull back heavy weapons, to exchange prisoners of war and to demilitarise the region.
On January 12 the foreign ministers of the "Normandy Quartet" comprising Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine held a meeting in Berlin. The ministers noted at the negotiations their readiness to meet in the coming week following the political directors’ meeting as a condition.
In late January the situation deteriorated after a passenger bus en route from Donetsk to Zlatoustovka came under shelling on January 13. Twelve civilians were killed and at least 16 wounded. Artillery shelling and bombing strikes at Donbass cities have intensified and dozens of peaceful civilians, including women, children, and the elderly, died in them.
On Thursday German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande arrived in Kiev for talks with Poroshenko with the aim to settle the crisis. On Friday the European leaders arrived in Moscow on Friday.
It took Putin, Hollande and Merkel about five hours to try to find a way out of the Ukrainian crisis. No details of the talks both in Kiev and Moscow were disclosed.