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MOSCOW, June 8. /TASS/. Ukraine’s troops continue deploying Grad multiple rocket launcher systems and howitzers along the line of engagement with the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), DPR defense ministry spokesman Eduard Basurin said on Monday.
"DPR’s reconnaissance reported concentration of Ukrainian heavy weapons banned by the Minsk agreements. Thus, multiple rocket launcher systems have been registered near the settlement of Andreyevka, and up to eight D-30 howitzers have been reported to be deployed in Dyleyevka," the Donetsk News Agency quoted him as saying.
Despite Ukraine’s reports about pullout of heavy weapons, "the OSCE mission observed the presence of artillery, such as a D-30 howitzer, eight Uragan and two Smerch multiple rocket launcher systems and four self-propelled howitzers, in territories controlled by Ukrainian troops nine kilometers southwest of the settlement of Maryinka," he said.
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. The final document says that the Ukrainian troops are to be pulled back away from the current line of engagement and the militias of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, from the engagement line set by the Minsk Memorandum of September 19, 2014.
The DPR completed the withdrawal of its heavy weapons by March 1. 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.