MOSCOW, May 28. /TASS/. A day of mourning has been declared in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) to pay tribute to civilians killed in shelling opened from positions of Ukrainian military units.
"Expressing sympathy for the victims killed in the barbarous shelling of DPR residential districts by Ukraine’s Armed Forces, I order to announce May 28, 2014 the day of mourning," DPR leader Alexander Zakharchenko said in his statement.
Flags will be flown at half-mast and cultural establishments and radio and television companies have been recommended to suspend entertainment events and programmes.
"All the towns in the republic are due to hold protest rallies against Ukraine’s violations of the Minsk agreements and against shelling of peaceful cities by the Ukrainian army," Zakharchenko’s administration told the Donetsk news agency.
On Wednesday, the spokesman for the DPR Defence Ministry, Eduard Basurin, said "as a result of heavy shelling by the Ukrainian military, five civilians were killed: one woman, three men and an 11-year-old girl." Moreover, nine civilians were wounded, including three women and three children.
At least 40 projectiles of 122mm calibre and over 30 shells of 82mm and 120 mm calibre were fired at the town of Gorlovka from 7.00 until 09.00 p.m. local time on May 26, Basurin said noting that the DPR reconnaissance has "intercepted photos from Ukrainian drones featuring weapons of Ukraine’s Armed Forces banned by the Minsk agreements."
"Using these Grad multiple rocket launchers and self-propelled artillery vehicles, Ukrainian military shelled civilians in the localities of Gorlovka and Novoazovsk," he said.
Talks of the Normandy Four (Russia, Germany, France, Ukraine) leaders on the Ukrainian issue took place in the Belarusian capital Minsk on February 12. Simultaneously, regular talks of the Contact Group were held in Minsk on February 10-12.
The talks ended by adoption of a 13-point package of measures, which contained in particular a ceasefire, withdrawal of heavy weapons, as well as measures on long-term political settlement of the Ukraine crisis, including enforcement of a special self-rule status for certain districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. The ceasefire has been repeatedly violated since.