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MOSCOW, April 20. /TASS/. A total of 410 mines launched from Ukrainian positions have exploded in the village of Shirokino in the Donetsk Region over the past 24 hours, Russia’s representative in the Joint Center for Control and Coordination (JCCC) of the ceasefire regime in Donbass Col. Gen. Alexander Lentsov told the Donetsk News Agency.
"Today we went to Shirokino jointly with representatives of the OSCE and the Defense Ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic," Col. Gen. Lentsov said.
"We registered that 410 mines that came from Ukrainian positions exploded in Shirokino over 24 hours. Yesterday, since the departure of the OSCE, massive machinegun and then mortar fire attacks started, ending with artillery. The key reason is great tensions between the sides," he said.
According to Lentsov, units of Ukrainian volunteer battalion Azov remain in the vicinity of Shirokino, and they destabilize the situation.
"The key fire attacks and clashes come from the southern direction," the general stressed. "On the western direction, where there are units of Ukraine’s armed forces, there are virtually no 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 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.