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MOSCOW, August 16. /TASS/. The settlements of Slavyanoserbsk and Oboznoye in the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) have come under shelling by Ukrainian troops, LPR’s deputy militia chief Igor Yashchenko said on Sunday.
"About 20 mines of 82mm caliber were fired at a cross-roads in the settlement of Oboznoye today. Slabyanoserbsk suburbs came under mortar shelling twice on Sunday," LuganskInformCentre quoted him as saying.
Yashchenko said it was impossible to say how many people were hurt as the shelling was not over.
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 internally displaced people, Ukraine has now the ninth largest number of IDPs 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.