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Kiev continues shelling, pulls in rocket artillery to contact line — DPR defense ministry

April 30, 2015, 18:58 UTC+3 KIEV
Over the last 24 hours, the Ukrainian forces shelled DPR 37 times, including four times from heavy artillery and 15 times from mortars, DPR defense ministry spokesman said
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© EPA/ANASTASIA VLASOVA

KIEV, April 30. /TASS/. Ukrainian forces continue shelling the territory of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and pulling in rocket artillery to the contact line, DPR defense ministry spokesman Eduard Basurin told a briefing on Thursday.

Over the last 24 hours, the Ukrainian forces shelled DPR 37 times, including four times from heavy artillery and 15 times from mortars, Basurin said. "Ukrainian force also continue harassing fire on our settlements near the contact line from tanks and IFVs [infantry fighting vehicles], and from firearms. Ukrainian commanders continue covertly pulling in rocket artillery systems to positions along the contact line," he added.

DPR surveillance registered six Grad multiple rocket launcher systems near the Semigorye settlement 50 km to the north-east of Donetsk and four Uragan systems near the Yasnoborodovka village, 10 km to the north-west of Donetsk. "Those types of equipment are subject to withdrawing from the contact line, and positioning them in the aforementioned places contradicts the Minsk accords," Basurin stressed. All information on the latest developments is handed over to the Joint Center for Control and Coordination, he added.

Ceasefire in eastern Ukraine is one of the key point of the Minsk agreements on the Ukrainian settlement. Other points include heavy weaponry withdrawal, prisoner exchange, local elections in Donbas and constitutional reform in Ukraine.

The Minsk accords were signed on February 12, after negotiations in the so-called "Normandy format" in the Belarusian capital Minsk, bringing together Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. The talks lasted for around 14 hours. Simultaneously, a meeting of the Contact Group on Ukrainian settlement was held in Minsk.

The Ukrainian forces and the self-defense forces of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics have repeatedly accused each other of violating ceasefire and other points of the Minsk agreements.

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