MOSCOW, December 27. /TASS/. Journalists from Russia’s VGTRK broadcaster came under fire in the village of Kominernovo in Donbass, Vesti.ru said on its website on Sunday.
"On Saturday, the village came under mortar fire. On Sunday, a VGTRK video crew came under fire," the media outlet said.
Earlier in the day, Edurad Basurin, a spokesman for the defense ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), told the Donetsk News Agency that he and a team of inspectors had come under sniper fire from Ukrainian troops in the village of Kominternovo.
"We have just got under the sniper fire in Kominternovo," the Agency quoted him as saying. "We went there to inspect the shelling delivered on December 24."
The spokesman said the inspection group featured representatives of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) Monitoring Mission and the Joint Coordination Centre for Ceasefire Monitoring in Donbass.
The Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has confirmed that its monitors came under gunfire in the village of Kominternovo in the buffer zone of the engagement line in Donbass, the Donetsk News Agency said on Sunday.
The Donetsk News Agency cited a release of the OSCE SMM’s press service saying that an incident with the use of firearms had taken place near Kominternovo at 11:20 local time on December 27. Gun fire was open at a site near the SMM patrol examining a crater.
None of the OSCE monitors was hurt, the mission’s cars sustained no damage. The SMM team was forced to leave the area immediately after the incident and return to its base in Donetsk.
The OSCE said more detailed information would be posted on its website later on Sunday.
Seventeen ceasefire violations by Ukrainian troops have been reported in Donbass over the past 24 hours, the Donetsk News Agency said on Sunday citing a spokesman for the defense ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR).
"The situation along the line of engagement has not changed in the past 24 hours, with apparent tendency towards aggravation. Ukrainian troops have committed 17 ceasefire violations," the spokesman said, adding that ceasefire violations had been reported from the settlements of Kominternovo, Zhabunki, Zaitsevo, Zheleznaya Balka, Lozovoye, Staromikhailovka, Spartak and the vicinity of the former Donetsk airport. In all, more than 125 mines were fires. More than ten shots were made from tanks and more than 30 shots were made from armored personnel carriers.
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 Tuesday, December 22, the Trilateral Contact Group meeting in the Belarusian capital city Minsk yielded an agreement between Ukraine and the self-proclaimed republics in Donbass to cease fire "fully and unconditionally" from 00:00 on December 23. However Ukrainian troops reportedly continue to violate ceasefire.