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MOSCOW, August 11. /TASS/. More than 500 Ukrainian shells have hit the territory of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) over the past 24 hours, a DPR defense ministry spokesman said on Tuesday.
"After the mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) resumed its work, the number of ceasefire violations has reduced to 39 episodes," the Donetsk News Agency quoted him as saying. "As many as 506 artillery shells of 152mm and 122mm calibers, 99 tank shells and 198 mines of 82mm and 120mm calibers have been fired by Ukrainian forces at the DPR."
Most intensive shelling was reported in the Telmanovsky district, where one person was killed and three others were wounded, the spokesman said.
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 Lugansk regions, from the engagement line set by the Minsk Memorandum of September 19, 2014.
The ceasefire however has been repeatedly violated.
On July 18, the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk republics (DPR and LPR) announced their plans to unilaterally withdraw heavy weaponry from the engagement line. By late July, the DPR said it had completed the withdrawal of weaponry of less than 100mm caliber from the contact line, leaving tanks only in "hot spots" to the north of Donetsk and in Debaltsevo. The LPR also completed the withdrawal of weaponry from the contact line, leaving tanks and armored vehicles only on positions near the Schastye settlement.
On July 21, the Contact Group on Ukrainian settlement reached an agreement on phased withdrawal of weaponry of less than 100mm caliber by both sides. No final agreement however has been signed as of yet.