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MOSCOW, August 8. /TASS/. Ukraine’s military over the past 24 hours violated 29 times the ceasefire regime and used heavy weapons, defence ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said on Saturday.
"The situation in DPR remains complicated," the Donetsk News Agency quotes the ministry. "We have registered 29 violations of the ceasefire regime."
The defence ministry registered 31 shells of 152 and 122 mm calibre, 24 tank shells and 167 mines of calibres 82 and 120 mm. Besides, the Ukrainian military used grenade launchers and small arms.
"Once again under shelling were Spartak and the region around the Donetsk airport," the defence ministry said. "The shelling was made from Opytnoye and Avdeyevka."
Under the shelling also were Donetsk, Yasinovataya and Gorlovka, Zhabichevo, Alexandrovka, Golmovsky, Grabori and Staromikhailovka.
On April 7, 2014, the then Ukraine’s acting president Alexander Turchinov announced plans to launch an "anti-terrorist operation" in the country’s eastern regions that disagreed with the Kiev authorities’ policy. By summer 2014, clashes between Ukrainian army and local militias grew into large-scale combat operations involving heavy weapons and warplanes. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the violence in Ukraine has killed 6,500 people in the past year, wounded 16,000 and left 5 million people in need of humanitarian aid. With more than 1.3 million registered IDPs, Ukraine has now the ninth largest number of internally displaced in the world, according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre.
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 Pyotr 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. The self-proclaimed republics in Donetsk and Lugansk have repeatedly said the ceasefire observation depends completely on the Ukrainian side.