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Ukrainian army shells its own territory as act of provocation - DPR

November 27, 2015, 6:24 UTC+3 MOSCOW

According to him, the fire was opened from D-30 howitzers positioned in Peski

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MOSCOW, November 27. /TASS/. Ukrainian troops on Wednesday evening opened fire from howitzers on the Krasnogorovka settlement controlled by them, a source in the Defence Ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) told the Donetsk news agency.

"The Ukrainian military shelled in the evening the occupied by the Ukrainian armed forces Krasnogorovka settlement west of Donetsk," he said.

According to him, the fire was opened from D-30 howitzers positioned in Peski. "This shelling was an attempt to present this fire as coming from DPR," the source said. This statement is based on the intelligence data, according to which, Kiev plans to hold a formal briefing November 27 at which will accuse the DPR republic of non-compliance with the ceasefire regime and disruption of the Minsk agreements.

Previously, the DPR Defence Ministry reported that the Ukrainian forces shelled the Oktyabrsky and Severny settlements in the Kuibyshev district of Donetsk. Also, the Ukrainian army opened fire on the Zhabichevo, Spartak settlements and the Donetsk airport territory.

According to the agreement reached at peace talks in the Belarusian capital Minsk, a complete ceasefire was declared on the contact line in Ukraine’s south-eastern Donbass region starting from September 1, however, the Ukrainian forces have systematically violated it. In particular, they regularly shell the outskirts of Donetsk and Gorlovka. The DPR Defence Ministry said previously that the situation in the republic has recently worsened. The number of shelling attacks on the northern and western outskirts of Donetsk and on the city suburbs has dramatically increased over the past month.

Minsk accords

The Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine comprising senior representatives from Russia, Ukraine and the European security watchdog OSCE on February 12, 2015, signed a 13-point Package of Measures to fulfil the September 2014 Minsk agreements. The package was agreed with the leaders of the Normandy Four, namely Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine.

The Package of Measures, known as Minsk-2, envisaged a ceasefire between Ukrainian government forces and people’s militias in the self-proclaimed republics in Donetsk and Lugansk starting from February 15 and subsequent withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of engagement. The deal also laid out a roadmap for a lasting settlement in Ukraine, including local elections and constitutional reform to give more autonomy to the war-torn eastern regions.

On September 29, a supplement to the Package of Measures on Implementing the Minsk Agreements from 12 February 2015 was agreed at a meeting of the Contact Group on settlement the Ukrainian crisis, which was organised in Minsk. The supplement envisages withdrawal of tanks, artillery weapons of less than 100mm calibre, and mortars of equal to or less than 120mm calibre to a distance of 15 kilometres from the contact line in Donbass. 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 calibre 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.

Recent Normandy Four format talks

On October 2, leaders of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine held talks in Paris in the so-called Normandy format. Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the leaders discussed implementation of the Minsk Agreements, including withdrawal of armaments, elections, amnesty, gas issues and other crises, including air services. The Kremlin spokesman confirmed that the Minsk peace deal has no alternative.

On November 6, the Normandy Four foreign ministers agreed that humanitarian situation in Donbass is not improving, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after talks with his counterparts from Germany, France and Ukraine in the Normandy format.

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