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Donetsk republic spokesman says militia positions were shelled over 40 times in 24 hours

June 03, 2015, 11:38 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Various weapons are said to have been used by Kiev forces to shell residential areas and suburbs
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© Mikhail Sokolov/TASS

MOSCOW, June 3. /TASS/. A defense ministry spokesman for the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic said Wednesday that Ukrainian military action has violated ceasefire arrangements in war-torn eastern territory some 43 times over the past 24 hours.

Various weapons are said to have been used by Kiev forces to shell residential areas and suburbs, the spokesman said, according to a Donetsk News Agency report.

Territory was attacked 32 times by mortars, four times by tanks and six times by armored personnel carriers and infantry vehicles , the spokesman said. Grenade launchers and small arms had also opened fire.

Shelling has been recorded near the cities of Donetsk, Gorlovka, Yenakiyevo, Dokuchayevsk and Debaltsevo, as well as the settlements of Tavricheskoye, Lukovo, Novaya Maryevka, Shirokino, Sakhanka, Spartak, Kalinovka, Zhabichevo, Shirokaya Balka and Yasnoye, the official added. Information about casualties was being verified.

According to the self-proclaimed republic’s defense ministry, Ukrainian government forces have further intensified military action against local militias, in violation of ceasefire agreements signed in Minsk in February.

The February 12 peace deal struck by leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France envisaged a ceasefire between Ukrainian forces and people’s militias starting from February 15.

This was to be followed by withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of military engagement by at least 15 kilometres (9 miles), prisoner release and agreement for international observers to monitor the truce.

Withdrawal was due to start no later than the second day after the truce came into effect, for completion within two weeks.

Buffer zones were to be established of at least 50 kilometres (30 miles) for artillery of 100mm calibre or more, 70 kilometres for multiple rocket launch systems and 140 kilometres for the heaviest rockets and missiles.

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