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KIEV, June 19. /TASS/. Ukraine’s Dnepropetrovsk Region was the first to complete the construction of fortification structures on the border with Donbass (the Donetsk and Lugansk regions), the region’s head Valentin Reznichenko said Friday.
"I am grateful to all builders who… completed their work. The Dnepropetrovsk Region is a reliable shield of Ukraine," Ukrainian publication Segodnya quoted Reznichenko as saying. The fortification structures 100 kilometers long consist of 27 facilities with strongholds and reinforcing obstacles, trenches and special entrenchments for hardware.
Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko said March 9 that Ukraine is preparing a deeply layered defense system in the country’s east. The press center of the headquarters of Kiev’s military operation against eastern regions specified that there are plans to create two defensive lines "to prevent the enemy from penetrating Ukrainian territory."
"The bulk of work is some 1,500 kilometers of trenches, over 8,000 entrenchments for hardware, more than 4,000 dugouts and the construction of a 60-kilometer passive obstacle," the punitive operation’s headquarters said. Poroshenko said the overall cost of construction of all defensive structures on the disengagement line in Donbass totals 1 billion hryvnias (about $47 million).
The Ukrainian president also said all fortifications should be built by mid-July. The heads of two regions of Ukraine were even reprimanded for failure to meet the delivery date. Donetsk Region Governor Alexander Kikhtenko lost his post after the reprimand.
A coup occurred in Ukraine in February 2014. Mass protests soon erupted in Ukraine’s southeast, where local residents did not recognize the coup-imposed authorities, formed militias and started fighting for their rights.
Ukrainian troops have been engaged in fierce fighting with local militias during Kiev’s military operation, underway since mid-April 2014, against the breakaway territories - the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics constituting parts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine. The clashes have killed thousands.
On September 19, 2014, the Trilateral Contact Group on settlement in east Ukraine comprising representatives of Russia, Ukraine and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) adopted a memorandum in Minsk to outline the parameters for the implementation of commitments on a ceasefire in Ukraine laid down in the 12-point Minsk Protocol of September 5, 2014.
The Contact Group’s meetings in December 2014 and January 2015 were nearly fruitless. The Group held regular talks in Minsk on February 10-12, 2015, signing a 13-point Package of Measures on implementation of the September 2014 Minsk agreements.
The Package of Measures (Minsk-2) included cessation of fire from February 15, 2015, withdrawal of heavy armaments, as well as measures on long-term political settlement in Ukraine, in particular establishment of working subgroups.
The subgroups focus on four areas: economic issues and restoration of facilities; refugees, internally displaced persons and humanitarian assistance; political issues; security issues.
The ceasefire has been repeatedly violated by Ukrainian troops.