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Kiev accused of redeploying tanks, multiple rocket systems to line of contact

December 01, 2015, 16:49 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Donetsk News Agency quoted Eduard Basurin as saying 25 tanks and three Grad multiple launch rocket systems were spotted near the settlements of Dzerzhinsk and Mariupol

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© Mikhail Markiv/Ukrainian presidentioal press service/TASS/Archive

MOSCOW, December 1. /TASS/. Militia intelligence of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic has spotted more than 35 Ukrainian tanks and multiple launch rocket systems near the disengagement line, a spokesman for the republic’s defense ministry said on Tuesday.

The Donetsk News Agency quoted Eduard Basurin as saying 25 tanks and three Grad multiple launch rocket systems were spotted near the settlements of Dzerzhinsk and Mariupol.

Another four Ukrainian tanks and 100 troops were fixed in the settlement of Lebedinskoye (Volnovakha district), and four Grad systems - in the settlement of Novoalekseyevka in the same district.

The defense ministry said on Monday that over the past week the Ukrainian forces moved military hardware to the separation line in various settlements in the areas of the cities of Gorlovka, Mariupol and Donetsk. The Ukrainian armed forces have concentrated at the contact line a total of 111 artillery pieces (including self-propelled artillery weapons), the BM-21 Grad multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS), D-30 systems, 166 tanks, 147 infantry fighting vehicles and armoured personnel carriers, 26 vehicles with ammunition and more than 660 troops, including members of the Ukrainian extremist organization Right Sector, banned in Russia.

"The military-political leadership of Ukraine, taking advantage of the ceasefire regime, is actively building up forces and redeploying the troops all along the contact line," Basurin said.

Nine ceasefire violations over 24 hours

According to the ministry, the Ukrainian military violated the ceasefire regime 9 times over 24 hours shelling some inhabited localities in DPR.

"The Ukrainian forces have violated the ceasefire regime 9 times," a source in the Defense Ministry said.

According to the Defense Ministry, the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ fire fell on the village of Spartak in the northern outskirts of Donetsk, the Abakumov coal mine and Petrovsky district in the west of the city. The Ukrainian forces also shelled Zaitsevo village in the northern outskirts of Gorlovka. The Defense Ministry said the Ukrainian Armed Forces used 28-mm and 120-mm mortars, infantry combat vehicles, armored personnel carriers and small arms.

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 Luhansk 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.

In line with an agreement reached in Minsk at a meeting of the Contact Group on settling the situation in east Ukraine, a complete ceasefire was established from September 1 at the disengagement line in Donbass. Still, the DPR regularly registers separate instances of shelling on the part of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Under the Package of Measures to implement the Minsk agreements (Minsk-2) adopted on February 12, 2015, 100 mm artillery guns and weapons of larger caliber are to be pulled out to a distance of 50 kilometres from each other; MRLS - to 70 km; MRLS Tornado, Uragan and Smerch as well as the Tochka tactical operational missile complex to 140 km.

In accordance with the September supplement to the package of measures, guns with a caliber below 100 mm and tanks and mortar launchers, including those with a caliber of 120 mm, were supposed to have been withdrawn before November 12.

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