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Militia accuse Kiev of pulling military equipment closer to contact line

August 24, 2015, 15:46 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Militia intelligence registered 45 units of heavy weaponry at the frontline, including Smerch multiple rocket launcher systems

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Ukraine's Smerch multiple rocket launcher (archive)

Ukraine's Smerch multiple rocket launcher (archive)

© AP Photo/Petr David Josek

MOSCOW, August 24. /TASS/. The Ukrainian army continues to pull heavy weaponry to the contact line in Donbas, the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) defense ministry spokesman Eduard Basurin told journalists on Monday.

Militia intelligence registered 45 units of heavy weaponry at the frontline, including Smerch multiple rocket launcher systems, Basurin said.

"The location of eight Uragan multiple rocket launchers was registered to the south-east of Artyomovsk along with two Smerch multiple rocket launchers," Donetsk News Agency quoted Basurin as saying.

Basurin also said that DPR intelligence registered arrival of 10 units of military equipment in the settlement of Kurdyumovka, arrival of equipment and National Guards officers in the settlement of Dmitrovka.

Kiev's grouping of troops built up to 90,000 ahead of offensive

After a recent aggravation of the situation in east Ukraine, the militia last Thursday announced they have information that Kiev forces are planning an offencive aiming to encircle Donetsk. 

According to the self-proclaimed Donetsk republic, on August 20 the grouping of pro-Kiev armed units in eastern Ukraine totaled 90,000 men and officers, 450 tanks, 203 salvo artillery units, and five Tochka-U missile complexes. The troops are concentrated in four sectors - Mariupol, Donetsk, Debaltsevo, and Luhansk.

"Information has been received about the plan of forthcoming actions by the Ukrainian army from a source in the Ukrainian General Staff and, no matter how strange this may seem, there are still true officers there who do not want to fight against their own people," Eduard Basurin said at a briefing in the press center of the Donetsk News Agency.

According to Basurin, the Ukrainian military will launch an offensive in the Mariupol and Debaltsevo directions after "artillery shelling of the DPR’s positions."

"Kiev plans to deliver two converging blows in the direction of the settlement of Uspenka to defeat the DPR and advance to the border with Russia and subsequently prevent civilians from reaching the Russian territory," Basurin said.

"Along with this, two groupings [of Kiev’s forces] are intended to launch an offensive in the Donetsk direction north and south of Donetsk towards Ilovaisk, close the circle around the republic’s capital and encircle the city," the spokesman said.

In the Luhansk direction, Kiev’s forces are planning to hold separate combat operations against the militia of the Luhansk People’s Republic to prevent their redeployment to provide support to the DPR, the spokesman said.

"Further on, active offensive operations will be launched in the Luhansk direction with the aim to advance to the border with Russia," Basurin said.

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