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MOSCOW, February 9. /TASS/. Ukraine’s self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) on Monday launched a volunteer recruitment campaign following order of republic’s leader Alexander Zakharchenko, DPR Defense Ministry’s spokesman Eduard Basurin said on Monday.
"Yes, we have in fact started the mobilization," Basurin was quoted as saying by the Dontesk News Agency. "Those wishing to make sure that the mobilization is solely on a volunteer basis can go to recruitment offices and see for themselves."
The number of volunteers wishing to join militia forces in Ukraine's south-eastern unrecognized republic remains unknown, but Zakharchenko earlier said he hoped to beef up the forces with six new brigades.
Igor Plotnitsky, the leader of the Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR), which is the other one of the two self-proclaimed republics in the south-east of Ukraine, said last week that no mobilization was planned in the LPR.
Basurin said on Monday morning that Kiev troops shelled the territory of the DPR 66 times over the past 24 hours adding that two civilians were killed, and another 22 were wounded, including 20 of them in the city of Donetsk. Others were injured in the neighboring cities of Makeyevka and Gorlovka.
Many buildings and infrastructure facilities in the residential areas have been destroyed.
Ukraine’s authorities have sent more subversive groups to the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics, Basurin said on Sunday, linking this to the failures of the military operation and big losses.
Since mid-April 2014, the conflict has claimed over 5,300 lives and displaced nearly a million people, according to the United Nations data.