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DPR says Kiev’s reports about their heavy weapons withdrawal are not true

July 21, 2015, 17:51 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The evidence is a shelling of Donetsk, after which fragments of 152mm caliber shells were found, a spokesman for the DPR defense ministry says
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© EPA/IRINA GORBASYOVA

MOSCOW, July 21. /TASS/. Ukraine’s reports about withdrawal of its heavy weapons from the line of engagement are not true, which fact is proved by the shelling of Donetsk from weapons of a caliber more than 100mm on July 18, Eduard Basurin, a spokesman for the defense ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), said on Tuesday.

"Statements by the Ukrainian side about withdrawal of its weapons are lies. The evidence is a shelling of Donetsk, after which fragments of 152mm caliber shells were found," the Donetsk News Agency quoted him as saying.

Earlier, a spokesman for Kiev’s force operation in Donbas said Yuzef Venskovich said Ukrainian troops in Donbas had withdrawn their heavy weapons to a distance fixed in the Minsk agreements.

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 calibre 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 ceasefire however has been repeatedly violated.

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