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MOSCOW, November 3. /TASS/. The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) does not rule out postponing withdrawal of mortars of less than 120mm caliber due to repeated provocations from Ukrainian forces, DPR defense ministry deputy unit commander Eduard Basurin told a briefing in Donetsk News Agency on Tuesday.
"I hope that the number of shellings will decrease by the scheduled date, and we will be able to painlessly withdraw mortars. The date remains in force for now, but the situation is very unstable," Basurin said.
He added that DPR plans to complete weaponry withdrawal by November 10.
The emergency medical center said on Tuesday four militiamen of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) have been injured in shellings by Ukrainian forces on the western outskirts of Donetsk.
"As a result of shellings of Petrovsky and Kirovsky districts on November 2, four militiamen received mine blast injuries," Donetsk News Agency quoted the center as saying. "All victims sustained heavy shrapnel wounds to the limbs, body, head and chest," the medical center added.
It was earlier reported that Ukrainian forces shelled DPR’s north-western outskirts overnight. As a result of night shellings, the roof of a residential house in the Staromikhaylovka settlement in Donetsk’s Kirovsky district was destroyed.
DPR defense ministry noted intensification of shellings by Ukrainian forces over the last two days. On November 2, 16 ceasefire violations by Kiev forces were registered in DPR.
The supplement to the Package of measures on implementing the Minsk Agreements from 12 February 2015 was agreed upon on September 29 at the negotiations of the Contact Group in Minsk. The supplement envisages withdrawal of tanks, artillery weapons of less than 100mm caliber, and mortars of equal to or less than 120mm caliber to a distance of 15 kilometers from the contact line in Donbas. On September 30, the document was signed by DPR head Alexander Zakharchenko and LPR head Igor Plotnitsky.
In accordance with the reached agreement, tanks are withdrawn first, followed by artillery weapons of less than 100mm caliber and mortars. The first stage should start two days after the complete ceasefire and finish in 15 days. The second stage will take 24 days to complete. The withdrawal will start in the "North" sector on the LPR territory and will continue in the "South" sector in DPR. The whole process of withdrawal is expected to take a total of 41 days.