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MOSCOW, May 3. /TASS/. Six militiamen and three civilians have been injured in overnight shellings by Ukrainian forces in Donbass, the Donetsk News Agency reported on Sunday.
"According to preliminary reports, two men in Yasinovataya and one woman in the Kievsky district of Donetsk were injured at night in shellings," the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) defense ministry said.
Six militiamen received minor injuries in overnight shellings by the Ukrainian forces in Donbass, acting hospital head Alexender Oprishchenko said.
"Five people sustained minor injuries. They received necessary medical aid and were released for outpatient treatment. One more militiamen with an eye injury was hospitalized," Oprishchenko said.
Ukrainian forces have violated ceasefire regime in Donbass 36 times over the last 24 hours, shelling nine settlements of the DPR, the republic’s defense ministry said.
Residential houses were destroyed in the shellings, and water supply was disrupted.
Ukrainian forces continued shelling the suburbs of Donetsk even after they announced ceasefire, the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) defense ministry spokesman Eduard Basurin said on Sunday.
"JCCC [Joint Center for Control and Coordination] agreed with Ukrainian forces on ceasefire starting at 12am on May 3 in Donetsk. However, despite the reached agreements, Ukrainian forces continued to intensively shell residential areas of the DPR capital for 40 more minutes," Basurin said.
Ukrainian forces have violated ceasefire regime in Donbass 36 times over the last 24 hours, shelling nine settlements of DPR, DPR defense ministry told the Donetsk News Agency on Sunday. "Over the last 24 hours, we registered 36 shellings by Ukrainian armed forces. Military equipment was used against the positions of the self-defense forces and residential areas of the republic. The territory of DPR was shelled from artillery five times, from mortars - 16 times, from ICVs [infantry carrier vehicles] and APCs [armored personnel carriers] - tree times. Apart from that, there were six shellings from tanks, five from small arms and rocket-propelled grenades and one from anti-aircraft autocannon," the DPR defense ministry said.
Ukrainian forces almost resumed full-scale military actions on the territory of the self-proclaimed DPR by powerful artillery shellings, DPR envoy to the Contact Group on the Ukrainian settlement Denis Pushilin said on Sunday.
"Last night, because of provocations by the Ukrainian forces, the DPR army was on the verge of resuming full-scale military actions. It was that serious," Pushilin said. "We were shelled by missiles of 120 mm caliber, 122 mm and more, which is a gross violation of the Minsk accords," he added.
The DPR army was put in full combat readiness because of provocations from the Ukrainian forces, Pushilin stressed. "We should not wait for new shellings now, we should cease fire," he noted. "It is necessary to urgently launch working sub-groups in the Contact Group, it should not be postponed any more if we don’t want an escalation of the conflict in Donbass," he added.
DPR demands to investigate last night’s shellings, Pushilin said. "In the morning, we sent requests to OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] and JCCC [Joint Center for Control and Coordination] to publicly investigate night shellings of Donetsk. Observers should announce the names and surnames of those guilty of grossly violating the first two points of the Minsk agreements," he added.
"We will also insist on the soonest Contact Group meeting in Minsk. It will likely take place in the next two or three days," the envoy said.
More than 100 Ukrainian shells hit the Kievsky district in Donetsk last night, DPR defense ministry spoeksman Edaurd Basurin said. "We registered more than 100 explosions in the Kievsky district of Donetsk," Basurin said. "More than 15 residential houses were destroyed in the shelled area. Residential areas were shelled from Opytnoye and Avdeevka settlements which are controlled by the Ukrainian forces," 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 Donbass 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 Lugansk People’s Republics have repeatedly accused each other of violating ceasefire and other points of the Minsk agreements.