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Ukrainian forces return heavy artillery to contact line in Donbas — DPR defense ministry

November 09, 2015, 13:35 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Four D-30 howitzers were spotted near the Luhanskoye settlement on Donetsk’s outskirts, and two Grad multiple rocket launcher systems were seen in Dzerzhinsk to the north-west of Gorlovka

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Ukrainian howitzer (archive)

Ukrainian howitzer (archive)

© AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka

MOSCOW, November 9. /TASS/. The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) intelligence registered the return of 10 units of heavy weaponry to the contact line in Donbas, DPR defense ministry spokesman Eduard Basurin said on Monday.

"Four D-30 howitzers were spotted near the Luhanskoye settlement [on Donetsk’s outskirts], and two Grad multiple rocket launcher systems were seen in Dzerzhinsk [to the north-west of Gorlovka].Four self-propelled artillery systems were also spotted near the Novgorodskoye settlement [in Gorlovka’s west]," Donetsk News Agency quoted Basurin as saying.

Three T-64 tanks were also spotted by intelligence as they arrived to Krasnogorovka located 10 kilometers from the contact line in Donbas, he added.

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.

The process of withdrawal that started on October 3 and is expected to be completed in 41 days is monitored by representatives of the Joint Center for Control and Coordination (JCCC). They send reports on the withdrawal progress to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Special Monitoring Mission (SMM).

Ukrainian forces violate ceasefire regime 11 times over last 24 hours

According to DPR defense ministry, Ukrainian forces have violated ceasefire regime 11 times over the last 24 hours on the territory of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic.

Ukrainian forces "continued to provoke DPR Armed Forces over the last 24 hours to open fire at the positions of nationalist battalions. Yesterday they violated ceasefire 11 times," Donetsk News Agency quoted a DPR defense ministry spokesperson as saying.

According to DPR defense ministry, Kiev forces shelled the Volvo Center near the Donetsk airport, Zhabunki settlement on Donetsk’s northern outskirts, settlements of Ozeryanovka and Panteleymonovka in Golvoka’s south-west. More than 30 mines were fired at the DPR territory.

Ukrainian forces also opened fire from large-caliber firearms at settlements to the north and north-west of Gorlovka (Zaytsevo, mine 6-7) and Shirokaya Balka settlement.

At the meeting of the Contact Group in Minsk on August 26, the participants confirmed their plans to ensure ceasefire in Donbas from September 1. Over the last weeks, only few violations of ceasefire regime were registered in Donbass. Observing ceasefire by both sides is one of the main conditions for completing withdrawal of weaponry of less than 100mm caliber from the contact line in Donbas.

The Minsk accords were signed on February 12, after negotiations in the so-called "Normandy format" in the Belarusian capital Minsk, bringing together Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

The Minsk accords envisage ceasefire, weaponry withdrawal, prisoner exchange, local election in Donbas, constitutional reform in Ukraine and establishing working sub-groups on security, political, economy and humanitarian components of the Minsk accords.

The Ukrainian forces and the self-defense forces of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk republics have repeatedly accused each other of violating ceasefire and other points of the Minsk agreements.

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