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Ukraine's Donetsk republic accuses Kiev forces of 19 truce breaches over past 24 hours

March 31, 2015, 12:15 UTC+3 MOSCOW
A total of 19 instances of shelling by the Ukrainian military involving tanks, air defense weapons, mortars and small arms were registered in the past twenty-four hours by the DPR Defense Ministry
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© EPA/TASS/ROMAN PILIPEY

MOSCOW, March 31. /TASS/. The Ukrainian military shelled populated areas on the territory controlled by the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) 19 times over the past twenty-four hours, the DPR Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.

"Overall, 19 instances of shelling by the Ukrainian military involving tanks, air defense weapons, mortars and small arms were registered in the past twenty-four hours," the Donetsk News Agency quoted the DPR Defense Ministry as saying.

The Ukrainian military’s fire was directed at the populated areas of Shirokino, Spartak and Sakhanka. The Ukrainian army again shelled the Donetsk airport and the nearby Volvo center, the DPR Defense Ministry said.

No casualties were reported among self-defense militia or civilians, the DPR Defense Ministry said.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Sunday the OSCE’s latest report on developments in east Ukraine was a cause for concern.

The OSCE observers said in their latest report that the neighborhood of Shirokino east of Mariupol had been massively shelled by the Ukrainian military on March 27. The monitors said the shelling began as soon as they left Shirokino. Self-defense fighters of the Donetsk Republic opened retaliatory fire, the observers said.

The German foreign minister said everything should be done to prevent a disruption of the ceasefire accords reached by the Ukrainian warring sides in February in Minsk.

The German foreign minister urged both the Ukrainian army and self-defense militia in east Ukraine to "follow the spirit and the letter of the Minsk accords and stop the shelling."

"It is not the first time that we were confronted with this during the crisis in Ukraine. If the process is halted, it will hardly be possible to avoid a new military escalation. We should consistently pursue the goal of continuing the political process," the German foreign minister said.

The ceasefire between the Ukrainian conflicting sides started from midnight on February 15. The ceasefire regime is stipulated in a package of measures for the implementation of the accords signed in Minsk on February 12.

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