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DPR ministry says shelling of Donetsk is provocation aiming to frustrate Minsk accords

May 03, 2015, 18:01 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The DPR foreign ministry urged "the guarantors of the Minsk agreements, namely Russia, Germany and France, to exert influence on Kiev"
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© Mikhail Sokolov/TASS

MOSCOW, May 3. /TASS/. The latest shelling of Donetsk by Ukrainian troops is a provocation seeking to frustrate the Minsk agreements, the foreign ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said in a statement on Sunday.

"The foreign ministry is seriously worried over such actions of the Ukrainian army. We consider these developments as a flagrant provocation aiming to frustrate efforts towards peace settlement of the conflict," the ministry said. "Such actions of the Ukrainian army have all the signs of serious military crimes and can be compared with the most blatant episodes of genocide over the entire world history."

The DPR foreign ministry urged "the guarantors of the Minsk agreements, namely Russia, Germany and France, to exert influence on Kiev" and called on "the entire world community to address this situation and take measures to stop systemic killing of civilians."

Donetsk’s Kievsky district came under dense artillery shelling from the positions of Ukrainian troops in Opytnoye and Avdeyevka overnight from May 2 to May 3. About a hundred shells hit the area damaging about 20 apartment houses and a school building. Representatives of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and journalists inspected the area that had come under shelling.

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

The Minsk accords were signed on February 12, after 14-hour negotiations between the leaders of Normandy Four (together Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko ) in the Belarusian capital city of Minsk. Concurrently, Minsk hosted a meeting of the Contact Group on Ukrainian settlement.

The Ukrainian troops 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 provisions of the Minsk agreements.

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