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Militia say Kiev intensifies shelling of east Ukraine

April 09, 2015, 13:27 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Ukraine’s self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic defense ministry spokesman noted over 200 violations of ceasefire over the past week

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Ukrainian soldiers in Donbas

Ukrainian soldiers in Donbas


MOSCOW, April 9. /TASS/. Ukrainian government forces have intensified shelling of east Ukraine’s self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, local defense ministry spokesman Eduard Basurin said on Thursday, noting more than 200 violations of the current ceasefire over the past week.

"Over the past two days, we have recorded some 74 ceasefire violations by the Ukrainian side. Three militiamen have died and five have been injured in shelling," Basurin said.

"In just one week, starting from April 1, the Ukrainian side violated the ceasefire more than 200 times," he said, noting most intense shelling of Donetsk suburbs, around Donetsk airport and near the settlement of Shirokino.

Kiev forces opened fire with mortars, tank guns, infantry fighting vehicles, anti-tank guided missiles and small arms, he said.

"We are particularly concerned that the intensity of shelling by the Ukrainian side has not decreased since last week," Basurin said, adding that all information about truce violations had been forwarded to the Joint Center for Control and Coordination (JCCC).

The spokesman said Ukraine’s military is building up forces along the front line.

"We received new evidence last night that the Ukrainian side was amassing artillery units along the contact line and was covertly deploying heavy weapons in the demilitarised zone," the self-proclaimed republic's Eduard Basurin told a news briefing.

"Growing intensity of shelling of the republic’s settlements and the return of heavy artillery to the closest rear areas once again confirm our suspicions that Ukrainian troops are preparing to resume fighting in Donbas," he added.

The ceasefire deal struck in Minsk by leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France sought pull-back of heavy weapons from the front line by at least 15 kilometres (9 miles), prisoner release and agreement for international observers to monitor the truce.

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