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MOSCOW, May 14. /TASS/. The Ukrainian forces have violated the ceasefire regime 43 times over the last 24 hours, shelling 12 settlements in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), DPR defense ministry said on Thursday.
"[Ukrainian forces] mainly fired from mortars - 17 times. They used artillery six times, tanks - eight times, anti-aircraft guns - two times, APC [armored personnel carrier] - one time, ATGM [anti-tank guided missiles] - four times. They fired from rocket-propelled grenades and small arms five times," the Donetsk News Agency quoted a DPR defense ministry spokesman as saying.
The information about civilian casualties and infrastructure damage is being verified. "[Ukrainian forces] shelled the settlements of Krasny Oktyabr, Zaychenko, Shirokino, Zheleznaya Balka, Grigorovka, Spartak, Kalinovka, Novaya Maryevka, Zhabichevo, along with the territory of the Volvo Center, airport and Oktyabrskaya mine in Donetsk," the DPR defense ministry said.
Self-defense forces did not open response fire, and "DPR servicemen did not react to [Ukrainian] forces’ provocations," the ministry added.
Ceasefire is one of the key points 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.