MOSCOW, April 20. /TASS/. Ukraine government forces continue to pound the eastern territories of Donbas, a local defence ministry spokesman said on Monday.
Provocations continue "using tanks, mortars, anti-tank guided missiles, grenade launchers and small arms", Donetsk news agency quoted spokesman Eduard Basurin as saying.
Intense heavy mortar shelling bombarded the south of the Shirokino settlement on Saturday afternoon, the report said.
According to the self-proclaimed republic’s Defence Ministry, forces loyal to Kiev fired more than 400 shells towards local residential areas.
Shirokino had also been the target of shelling when Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) monitors were positioned there, Basurin was quoted as saying.
"We are convinced that the Ukrainian command intentionally puts representatives of the OSCE mission in danger," said the news report, noting "a link between such provocations and the appearance of NATO advisers on Ukrainian territory who will work there from April 12 to May 6, according to official estimates".
A February 12 peace deal struck in Minsk, Belarus, by leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France envisaged a ceasefire between Ukrainian forces and people’s militias starting from February 15.
This was followed by withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of military engagement and prisoner release.
Among the terms of the deal was agreement for international observers sent by the 57 member states of the OSCE to monitor the truce.