MOSCOW, April 16. /TASS/. The Ukrainian army is attacking militia positions in Donetsk by fire again, the Defense Ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said Thursday.
"Cannonade that is clearly heard virtually in each district of the city is nothing else than provocations on the part of the Ukrainian armed forces," the Donetsk News Agency quoted the ministry as saying in a statement. "They are attacking militia positions again."
The statement said heavy armaments are heard in some districts of the city, and small arms in others. The ministry said the DPR militia does not open return fire.
Clashes between Ukrainian troops and local militias in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions during Kiev’s military operation, conducted since mid-April 2014, to regain control over parts of the breakaway territories, which call themselves the Donetsk and Lugansk People's republics, have left thousands dead and forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee Ukraine’s embattled east.
The parties to the Ukrainian conflict mediated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) agreed on a ceasefire at talks in September 2014 in the Belarusian capital Minsk two days after Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed his plan to settle the situation in the east of Ukraine.
The ceasefire has reportedly been numerously violated since. There have been several meetings of the Trilateral Contact Group on east Ukrainian settlement comprising representatives of Russia, Ukraine and the OSCE and of the Normandy Four (Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany) aimed at finding ways to diplomatically and politically settle the intra-Ukrainian conflict.