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KIEV, May 3. /TASS/. Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry has denied Sunday that Ukrainian forces shelled Donetsk last night.
"Ukraine strongly rejects these allegations and responsibly states that the Ukrainian forces did not carry out any shellings of this city [Donetsk], as well as of any other settlement on the territory of separate areas of Donetsk and Lugansk regions," the foreign ministry said.
It added that if Ukrainian armed forces use weapons, they do it "exclusively as a forces measure in response to armed provocations from illegal armed groups."
Kiev continues to support "unconditional and complete implementation of the Minsk agreements," the foreign ministry added.
Ukrainian forces almost resumed full-scale military actions on the territory of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) by powerful artillery shellings, DPR envoy to the Contact Group on the Ukrainian settlement Denis Pushilin said earlier 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.
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.
Six militiamen and three civilians have been injured in overnight shellings by Ukrainian forces in Donbass, the Donetsk News Agency reported earlier 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 DPR defense ministry said.
Ukrainian forces have violated ceasefire regime in Donbass 36 times over the last 24 hours, shelling nine settlements of DPR, DPR defense ministry said. "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.
Residential houses were destroyed in the shellings, and water supply was disrupted.