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DPR Defense Ministry denies US reports of militia attack on Mariupol

August 18, 2015, 8:58 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The US State Department accused militiamen of making attacks in the north and east of Mariupol
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A woman in her house destroyed by shelling in Mariupol, Aug. 17

A woman in her house destroyed by shelling in Mariupol, Aug. 17

© AP Photo/Sergey Vaganov

MOSCOW, August 18. /TASS/. The Defense Ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) has denied statements of the US State Department that the militia allegedly attacked the northern and eastern parts of the city of Mariupol in east Ukraine.

"The DPR troops are at their positions and are not making any attacks. By far-fetched accusations, the official is trying to divert the public’s attention from preparation of aggression by the Ukrainian army, as well as justify the blame of the Kiev regime for massive shelling of the DPR inhabited localities in which women, children and old people are killed," the Donetsk News Agency quoted a ministry spokesman as saying.

The ministry said the militia does not react to provocations on the part of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and adheres in full to the Minsk Agreements.

On Monday, the US State Department accused militiamen of making attacks in the north and east of Mariupol. The United States claims Kiev violates the ceasefire in Donbas for self-defense.

The DPR Defense Ministry said Monday the situation in Donbas acquired "a crisis nature." As a result of a night shelling of the republic’s territory from the positions of the Ukrainian army, five civilians were killed and 14 wounded.

Massive shelling of residential neighborhoods, including with the use of aviation, has killed thousands and led to a humanitarian disaster in east Ukraine since Kiev in April 2014 announced the start of an "antiterrorism operation" there, which involved the Armed Forces, the Interior Ministry’s National Guard and volunteer battalions made up of Euromaidan activists, many of whom hold far-right and neo-Nazi views.

Ukraine has regularly violated the ceasefire regime imposed as part of the Package of Measures on implementation of the September 2014 Minsk agreements.

The situation in eastern Ukraine has deteriorated in recent weeks, with the number of reports on shelling and civilian deaths increasing. The DPR and the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) have repeatedly said that the observance of the ceasefire that took effect February 15 depends solely on the Ukrainian side.

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