MOSCOW, April 18. /TASS/. The Ukrainian army has increased the intensity of shellings of inhabited localities of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), the DPR Defense Ministry told the Donetsk News Agency on Saturday.
"In comparison with yesterday, when the number of fire attacks was 46, today we register 78 of them," a ministry spokesman said.
He said the number of attacks from artillery guns that in line with the Minsk agreements were to have been withdrawn from the contact line has also increased. There were 10 such attacks over the past day. Eight tank shellings on DPR localities, 28 mortar fire instances, five air defense system attacks, eight attacks from armored vehicles and 18 from grenade launchers and small arms were registered.
Two DPR servicemen were seriously wounded as a result.
The Donetsk Airport came under the most intensive fire.
In turn, the press center of Kiev’s military operation in east Ukraine accused militiamen of 24 fire attacks.
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.