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Ukrainian forces shell Donetsk region 20 times over last 24 hours — DPR defense ministry

May 18, 2015, 10:39 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The self-defense forces again registered the enemy’s use of heavy weaponry," the Donetsk News Agency said
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© EPA/OLEG PETRASYUK

MOSCOW, May 18. /TASS/. Ukrainian forces have shelled the territory of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) 20 times over the last 24 hours, DPR defense ministry said on Monday.

"Over the last 24 hours, [Ukrainian] forces shelled the settlements of the republic 20 times. The self-defense forces again registered the enemy’s use of heavy weaponry," the Donetsk News Agency quoted a DPR defense ministry spokesman as saying.

The Ukrainian forces opened fire twice from artillery, 12 times - from mortars, once - from tank, once - from ICVs [infantry carrier vehicle], and four times - from grenade launchers and small arms.

The Kiev forces shelled Donetsk, in particular the airport and Volvo Center, along with the settlements of Gorlovka, Spartak, Zhabichevo, Staromikhaylovka and Kalinovka.

The situation is calm at the moment, the Donetsk Mayor’s Office said. There are no reports yet on civilian or self-defense casulaties.

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.

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