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MOSCOW, April 19. /TASS/. The losses of the pro-Kiev’s forces reported by the Ukrainian Military Prosecutor’s Office in the Battle of Ilovaisk in east Ukraine in August last year are considerably smaller than they really are, Representative of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Commission for Prisoners-Of-War Liliya Rodionova said on Sunday.
Fierce battles erupted between Donetsk militia and pro-Kiev forces near the town of Ilovaisk in the second half of August - early September 2014. The Ukrainian troops were able to take control of a part of the town after fierce fighting but they were eventually encircled by the self-defense fighters. The Ukrainian military sustained big losses when retreating from Ilovaisk.
Ukraine’s Chief Military Prosecutor Anatoly Matios earlier said the Ukrainian army had lost 459 servicemen in the second half of August 2014 near Ilovaisk.
The DPR representative said, however, this figure should at least be doubled. "According to preliminary estimates, over 900 Ukrainian soldiers were killed near Ilovaisk," the Donetsk News Agency quoted her as saying.
The Ukrainian Military Prosecutor’s Office reports losses based on the number of servicemen who were identified. However, the DNA studies of the remains of Ukrainian soldiers who were killed near Ilovaisk are not yet over, she said.
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.
Minsk accords on Ukraine
The Belarusian capital of Minsk hosted on February 12 summit talks of Normandy Four leaders - Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko, French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The over 16-hour marathon summit negotiations ended in a package of agreements, which in particular envisaged ceasefire between the Ukrainian conflicting sides starting from midnight on February 15.
Prior to the summit talks Minsk also hosted the meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine involving Ukraine’s ex-president Leonid Kuchma, Kiev’s special representative for humanitarian issues Viktor Medvedchuk, the leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky, and Russia’s ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov and OSCE’s envoy Heidi Tagliavini, who both acted as mediators.
As a result of the meeting, it was announced that an agreement was reached on the ceasefire in certain districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, the heavy weaponry pullout and measures on a long-term political settlement of the crisis.