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MOSCOW, July 26. /TASS/. The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) for over two months now has been unable to start searching for bodies of killed militia and Kiev’s military near the airport in Donetsk due to the continuing shelling of the region, a member of the republic’s commission on prisoners of war Liliya Rodionova said on Sunday.
"For almost three months already we cannot begin searching for bodies of militia killed in Spartak and Zhabichevo," the Donetsk News Agency quoted her as saying. "As yet, it is impossible to guess how many bodies remain unburied there."
She said the republic continued negotiating organisation of a secure situation at most tense parts along the front line so that to begin searching for the bodies.
The republic’s commission and Ukraine’s Cherny Tulpan (Black Tulip) volunteer organisation planned to begin searching bodies near Avdeyevka and Spartak back on the 20th of April, but the ongoing shelling made them postpone the mission.
Spartak and other settlements around the Donetsk airport are being shelled practically every day. Almost all infrastructures have been destroyed there.
On Tuesday, July 21, the Contact Group on settlement of the situation in Ukraine at a meeting in Minsk approved a text of the agreement on a gradual withdrawal of tanks, armoured vehicles and weapons of under 100mm calibre from the front line. Prior to that, self-proclaimed DPR and the Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) unilaterally withdrew their weapons of under 100mm calibre to the distance of three kilometres from the front. However, later on Ukraine’s President Pyotr Poroshenko said he ordered to his representatives at the Contact Group to sign the agreement on a 30-kilometre buffer zone in Donbass.
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 line of engagement in order to create a security zone of at least 50 kilometres wide for artillery systems with a calibre of 100 mm or more, a zone of security 70 kilometres wide for multiple rocket launchers and a zone 140 kilometres wide for multiple rocket launchers Tornado-S, Uragan and Smerch and for 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 line of engagement set by the Minsk Memorandum of September 19, 2014.