MOSCOW, June 5. /TASS/. Reconnaissance services of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) have reported more episodes of Ukrainian heavy weapons’ presence in the vicinity of the engagement line in Donbas, DPR defence ministry spokesman Eduard Basurin said on Friday.
"DPR reconnaissance agencies have reported heavy weapons’ deployment in Dzerzhinsk. Apart from that, they reported deployment of up to 15 multiple rocket launcher systems in the settlements of Sukhaya Balka, Velikaya Novoselka and Ugledar," the Donetsk News Agency quoted him as saying.
Earlier on Friday, speaker of the DPR legislature Andrei Purgin said Ukraine had re-deployed practically all of its heavy weapons previously withdrawn under the Minsk agreements to the disengagement line. "The conflict is escalating. The situation is very hard, including in psychological terms. Kiev has returned all heavy weapons which used to be pulled out to positions near the disengagement line. We have returned to a situation before February 12," he told the Donetsk News Agency.
He said that protraction of political negotiations was the root cause for the worsening situation in Donbas. "We should admit that the political process has become so protracted and uncertain that it has stopped influencing the military situation. The military situation is developing all by itself while the political process is standing idle," Purgin said adding that resolute and decisive political steps had to be taken in the near future to end the current situation.
A peace deal struck on February 12 in Minsk, Belarus, by the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France envisaged a ceasefire between Ukrainian forces and people’s militias starting from February 15, followed by withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of military engagement and prisoner release. The package of measures envisages the pullback of all heavy weapons by both parties to locations equidistant from the disengagement line in order to create a security zone at least 50 kilometers wide for artillery systems with a caliber of 100 mm or more, a zone of security 70 kilometers wide for multiple rocket launchers and a zone 140 kilometers wide for multiple rocket launchers Tornado-S, Uragan and Smerch and the tactical rocket systems Tochka-U.
Nevertheless, in recent days populated localities in the Donetsk People’s Republic have come under intensive shelling from the positions of the Ukraine army, which is using heavy artillery and multiple rocket launcher systems (MRLS).