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Militia blame Ukraine army for shelling Mariupol — DPR Defense Ministry

August 18, 2015, 16:00 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The US State Department accused militiamen of making attacks in the north and east of Mariupol

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A man in his house destroyed by shelling in Mariupol, Aug. 17

A man in his 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 blamed the Ukrainian army for shelling Mariupol’s residential areas over the past week.

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 Kiev-controlled media outlets have been accusing the DPR army of provocations linked to the shelling of the city of Mariupol. Our intelligence service has obtained information that Ukrainian army units shelled Mariupol’s residential quarters from the wooded area located on the southern outskirt of Talakovka populated locality on August 10-16," the Donetsk news agency quoted the ministry’s spokesperson, Eduard Basurin, as saying on Tuesday. 

He added that the militias had established the location of firing positions of heavy artillery guns to the north of the Berdyanskoye populated locality from where Shirokino and Mariupol were being shelled.

"I am using the visit by the OSCE SMM as an opportunity to ask its representatives to check the above mentioned facts because the Kiev government is intentionally inciting tensions in order to create a pretext for launching a new offensive in Donbas," Basurin went on to say.

The "silence regime" officially came into force in Donbas on February 15 this year. A demand to cease the fire is one of the requirement laid down in the Minsk-2 package of measures designed to implement the Minsk agreements. However, the situation has aggravated recently. Shelling has intensified and victims among civilians have reappeared again. The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic /DPR/ and the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) have said many times that the truce observance depends entirely on the Ukraine side.

The Contact Group for the Ukraine settlement signed a package of measures (to implement the Minsk agreements) in Minsk on February 12. Prior to that, the package, also known as Minsk-2, had been approved by the Normandy four leaders [Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine].

The document provides for the creation of a security zone of no less than 50 kilometers. The parties in conflict pledged to pull out their artillery guns with a caliber of more than 100 mm to an equal distance from the disengagement line to create that security zone.

The people’s militia of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic unilaterally completed the withdrawal of all weapons with a caliber under 100mm from the contact line to a distance of no less than 3 kilometres with the exception for the town of Schastye.

There are fears that the current aggravation of the Ukraine crisis may disrupt the Minsk peace agreements on the ceasefire regime in Donbas. The recent increase in Ukraine’s military activities may be linked to attempts of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to take a revenge, with the US support, for the past military failures in combat operations against the LPR and DPR. However, such actions may disrupt the peace agreements and lead to the resumption of war in south-eastern Ukraine.

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