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Media claim volunteer battalions are getting prepared for offensive in Donbas

December 21, 2015, 18:26 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Militia reconnaissance says the Ukrainian side has pulled tanks and artillery systems of 152mm caliber to the line of engagement

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© Zurab Javakhadze/TASS

MOSCOW, December 21. /TASS/. Gunmen from the so-called volunteer battalions, or paramilitary armed groups, are plotting an unauthorized offensive at the city of Gorlovka in Donbass, the Donetsk News Agency said on Monday citing the defense ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR).

"According to our sources, nationalist paramilitary groups are getting prepared to offensive action in violation of the Minsk agreements and orders from Ukraine’s military and political authorities," a DPR defense ministry spokesman was quoted as saying. "The command of Dnepr-1 battalion notorious for its uncontrollability is concentrating military hardware to stage provocations at the Gorlovka direction."

The DPR defense ministry described such actions as another step towards escalation of the conflict.

Apart from that, the DPR defense ministry cited reconnaissance data that the Ukrainian side had pulled tanks and artillery systems of 152mm caliber to the line of engagement.

Thus, according to the DPR defense ministry, three Akatsiya self-propelled 152mm caliber artillery systems, three Rapira anti-tank systems, a Grad multiple launch rocket systems and five armored vehicles with personnel and munitions have been spotted one kilometer off the engagement line near the settlement of Granitnoye. Six tanks and four armored personnel carriers were reportedly seen in Selidovo, some 29 kilometers west of Donetsk.

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