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Kiev forces open fire at militias amid weapons withdrawal

July 20, 2015, 15:29 UTC+3 MOSCOW

On Saturday, the Donetsk and Luhansk republics announced the beginning of the withdrawal of tanks and armored vehicles equipped with cannons with caliber under 100 mm

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DPR's weapons withdrawal

DPR's weapons withdrawal

© TASS/Mikhail Sokolov

MOSCOW, July 20. /TASS/. The Ukrainian Armed Forces have opened fire at the positions of the self-proclaimed Donetsk republic militias in Gorlovka at the time when armored vehicles were being withdrawn from there, the Donetsk News Agency reported on Monday.

"Fire was opened at the positions near the village of Zaitsevo in northwestern Gorlovka, which have just been abandoned by the people’s militia," the report says.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the DPR defense ministry told the agency that "snipers were working and automatic grenade launchers were used" in the Zaitsevo area. The positions of the Kiev-controlled units were "located two kilometers away from the place of armored vehicles withdrawal."

More than 50% of tanks, armored vehicles withdrawn from contact line

DPR defense ministry spokesman Eduard Basurin said on Monday the militia forces of the self-proclaimed Donetsk republic have withdrawn more than 50% of tanks and armored vehicles from the contact line on Donbas.

"More than 50% of weaponry has been withdrawn. However, this process is rather lengthy, and there are certain places where we are not withdrawing [heavy weaponry] yet, we will see how the situation develops," the Donetsk News Agency quoted Basurin as saying.

Basurin stressed that lists of withdrawn weapons will be handed to the monitoring mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

On July 18, the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk republics (DPR and LPR) announced the start of withdrawing tanks and armored vehicles of less than 100mm caliber from the contact line to at least 3 kilometers. DPR weaponry remains only to the north of Donetsk and in Deblatsevo - the tensest parts of the contact line. LPR is withdrawing weaponry everywhere along the contact line, excluding the area near the Schastye settlement.

Withdrawing weaponry of less than 100mm caliber has been discussed in Minsk for a long time, but the sides failed to reach an agreement. DPR and LPR decided to start the withdrawal unilaterally in the interests of establishing peace.


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