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MOSCOW, August 16. /TASS/. Security officers of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) have frustrated a Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance group, spokesman for the DPR defnce ministry Eduard Basurin said on Sunday.
"A Ukrainian sabotage party was frustrated in a special operation of the DPR state security ministry on August 13. As a result, three Ukrainian militants were killed, one was detained," the Donetsk News Agency quoted him as saying. "No further details can be disclosed in the interests of the investigation."
He said however that the detained Ukrainian officer "has information about an offensive the Ukrainian army command is planning against the Donetsk and Lugansk republics." Basurin added that DPR security services had exposed 11 such groups tasked to abduct DPR servicemen to later use them in fake reports about detention of Russian servicemen.
Ukraine’s army has pulled three army units, more than 430 tanks, 132 multiple launch rocket systems and up to 830 artillery pieces and mortars to the line of engagement in Donbass, Eduard Basurin, a spokesman for the defence ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), said on Sunday.
"The Ukrainian group in sector C consists of up to 22 battalions, 130 tanks, 950 armoured personnel carriers, 290 artillery weapons and mortars, and up to 35 multiple launch rocket systems," the Donetsk News Agency quoted him as saying.
Apart from that, he said, up to 26 battalions with 230 tanks and 75 multiple launch rocket systems have been concentrated in sector B. Up to 20 battalions, 75 tanks and 22 multiple launchers are deployed in sector M.
"Over the day, Ukrainian troops have been building up weapons of a caliber more than 100mm along the line of contact in violation of the Minsk agreements the Ukrainian side put its signature under," Basurin said.
He said deployment of so many weapons prohibited by the Minsk agreements evidenced Kiev’s preparations for a new phase of large-scale combat operations.
"We call on the international community to take urgent measures to prevent inhumane and criminal plans of [Ukrainian President ] Pyotr Poroshenko to unleash a new spiral of combat operations and genocide in eastern Europe. It is not yet late to prevent a fire of a new war in Europe," Basurin stressed.
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 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 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 Lugansk 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.