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MOSCOW, August 15. /TASS/. Reconnaissance of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) has information the Ukrainian military are preparing attack on Lugansk, an official representative of the republic’s militia told the LuganskInformCentre on Saturday.
"Our source at the headquarters of the Ukrainian Armed Forces has learned about organisation of an attack group of the so-called "Anti-Terror Operation" consisting of 92 and 54 mechanised brigades, which unite to 5,000 military, and soon with mighty support from the artillery they will begin an attack," he said.
"The main objective they have is to seize Lugansk."
He added the reconnaissance saw another pulling of weapons to Zolotoye and Schastye.
"This is also confirmed by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in the region," the representative said. "They have fixed relocation of Ukrainian weapons to the front line between August 12 and 14."
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 so-called 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.
Four subgroups, tasked with addressing security, political, economic and humanitarian issues, are expected to advance work by the Contact Group in activating elements of the Minsk deal. The Contact Group and its all subgroups are due to meet next time on August 26 in Minsk.