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Militia intelligence refutes Kiev claims on military withdrawal

March 06, 2015, 13:41 UTC+3
The Ukrainian military announced they have finalised the first stage of withdrawal of heavy weapons and begin withdrawal of the Grad multiple launch rocket systems
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MOSCOW, 6 March. /TASS/. The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) is sceptical about the statements from Kiev about withdrawal of heavy weapons from line of engagement, representative of the defense ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk republic (DPR) Eduard Basurin said on Friday.

"Today the Ukrainian military announced they have finalised the first stage of withdrawal of heavy weapons and begin withdrawal of the Grad multiple launch rocket systems," he said. "Our intelligence reports on the situation in the zone from the Ukrainian side do not let us be optimistic about Kiev’s prompt observation of this item of the Minsk agreements."

He said, the reconnaissance reported in the direction to Donetsk, near the Novgorodskoye village, a convoy of four KrAZ heavy trucks pulling Rapiras MLRS towards Konstantinovka. Later on, the trucks, having exactly the same plates, were seen near the town of Dzerzhinsk.

Between Konstantinovka and Dzerzhinsk within the day trucks had been delivering ammunition for the said artillery systems.

"This example once again proves our fears that by pretending the withdrawal of heavy weapons the Ukrainian side is involved in rotation of the weapons," he said. "At the same time, the Ukrainian military position the withdrawal not as fulfilment of their obligations, but exclusively as a good-will gesture, which - for some reason - is addressed to the West."

Thus, the defense ministry’s representative called on the OSCE monitoring commission "not only to fix the Ukrainian side’s withdrawal of their artillery systems, but also to organise fresh inspections of freed positions not to allow hidden deployment of other heavy weapons there."

"On our side, we are ready to organize a similar inspection by the OSCE observers in the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic," he said.

At the recent meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine in February, a package of measures was adopted to implement the Minsk agreements. The package of measures envisages the pullback of all heavy weapons by both parties to locations equidistant from the disengagement line in order to create a security zone at least 50 kilometers wide for artillery systems with a calibre of 100 mm or more, a zone of security 70 kilometres wide for multiple rocket launchers and a zone 140 kilometers wide for Tornado-S multiple rocket launchers, Uragan and Smerch and Tochka-U tactical rocket systems.

The final document says that the Ukrainian troops are to be pulled back away from the current line of engagement and the militias of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, from the engagement line set by the Minsk Memorandum of September 19, 2014.

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