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MOSCOW, July 3. /TASS/. Ukrainian troops are getting prepared to stage an offensive and for these ends are concentrating engineering forces on the other bank of the Severny Donets River tasked to build boat bridges, Igor Yashchenko, a deputy chief of staff of People’s Militia of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR), said on Friday.
"We have information about the presence of engineering troops on the opposite bank of the Seversky Donets River. These troops are tasked to build boat bridges. These fact testifies that the Ukrainian side is using the fragile truce to build up its forces and prepare an offensive," LugankInformCentre quoted him as saying.
This fact, he said, arouse grave concerns, along with Ukraine’s reluctance to agree constitutional reforms with the LPR.
Yashchenko said People’s Militia in the LPR "has information that Ukrainian people who don’t want to fight against their brothers are leaving Ukraine’s territory to go to Donbas."
"Over the past week, several Ukrainian nationals discharged from the army after the ‘anti-terrorist operation’ and who saw the real situation with their own eyes have sided with the LPR and want to join the LPR militias," he said and stressed that unlike the Ukrainian army, the army of the Luhansk republic was 100% volunteer.
"We are ready to give a possibility to defend the interests of the republic’s population to all who can and deserves to be a servicemen of People’s Militia," he underscored.
The Minsk accords were signed on February 12, 2015 after 14-hour negotiations between the leaders of Normandy Four (Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko) in the Belarusian capital city of Minsk. Concurrently, Minsk hosted a meeting of the Contact Group on Ukrainian settlement.
A 13-point Package of Measures on implementation of the September 2014 Minsk agreements in particular included an agreement on cessation of fire from February 15, withdrawal of heavy armaments, as well as measures on long-term political settlement of the situation in Ukraine, including establishment of working subgroups as priority tasks.
The ceasefire however has been repeatedly violated.