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MOSCOW, March 13. /TASS/. The Ukrainian forces mostly observe the ceasefire regime along the disengagement line in Donbass, but problem spots still remain, head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Alecander Zakharchenko said on Friday.
"The ceasefire is observed by 90%," Zakharchenko told the Donetsk News Agency. "There are several problem spots - Donetsk airport, Shirokino settlement and Gorlovka. Where the confrontation is really close, trench-like, you can say, no more than 100 meters - shots are fired there. It starts with firearms, and then mortars are used," he noted.
Violations of ceasefire from the Ukrainian side become more frequent when new forces arrive, Zakharchenko said. "I noticed that they shoot after rotation, when they change in the evening, or after a two-week rotation. New units arrive, and three-four days of heavy fire ensue. Then ceasefire resumes again," he added.
On February 12, negotiations in the "Normandy format" were held in the Belarusian capital Minsk, bringing together Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. The talks lasted for around 14 hours.
Simultaneously, a meeting of the Contact Group on Ukrainian settlement was held in Minsk, bringing together former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma and Kiev’s special representative for humanitarian issues Viktor Medvedchuk, both representing the Ukrainian side, alongside representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR), Denis Pushilin and Vladislav Deinego, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) special envoy to Ukraine, Heidi Tagliavini, and Russia’s ambassador to Ukraine, Mikhail Zurabov, who acts as a mediator.
As a result, a package of measures on implementing the Minsk agreements was adopted, including on ceasefire in separate areas of Donetsk and Lugansk regions starting from February 15, heavy weaponry withdrawal and long-term political settlement of the Ukrainian crisis.