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MOSCOW, January 11. /TASS/. The Ukrainian armed forces have moved to the contact line in the country’s south-eastern Donbas region more than 80 weaponry units, including 29 howitzers and self-propelled artillery systems, spokesman for the defense ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Eduard Basurin reported on Monday.
According to him, over the past week the Ukrainian military have been concentrating forces and equipment in the area of Gorlovka. Thus, four 152-mm weapons and up to six 122-mm D-30 howitzers of the artillery battery of the 30th separate mechanised brigade have been spotted in the area of Svetlodarsk. Also, an engineer unit was dispatched there to prepare and install pontoon bridges. Basurin said that five Pion and Giatsint artillery weapons were spotted in the areas of the city of Dzerzhinsk northwest of Gorlovka.
According to Basurin, the Ukrainian military during the past week also continued to concentrate equipment and manpower in the area of Donetsk. In particular, DPR reported the presence of up to 300 troops of the volunteer Ukrainian corps Right Sector (the organisation is outlawed in Russia) near the Spartak settlement. A battery of the 55th separate artillery brigade comprising up to six self-propelled artillery systems was spotted in the area of the Yelizovetovka settlement, two self-propelled artillery systems and four tanks - in the area of the Pobeda settlement and six trucks with ammunition - in the area of Maryinka, Basurin said.
According to the DPR defense ministry, the largest concentration of military equipment has been recorded in the Mariupol area. More than 50 units of self-propelled artillery systems, infantry fighting vehicles, 152-mm howitzers, antitank systems and tanks have been spotted there. More than 1,400 Ukrainian army troops have been dispatched to the area together with the equipment. They are concentrated near the Granitnoye, Novoselovka Vtoraya, Fedorovka, Gnutovo, Talakovka, Nikolayevka settlements, as well as at the settlements of the so-called "grey zone" - Pavlopol and Pishchevik, said the DPR defense official.
The DPR defense representative also said, referring to the reconnaissance data that the Ukrainian troops have conducted engineering work to equip trenches for equipment and personnel for combat operations at eight settlements of the buffer zone that had previously been "illegally seized by the Ukrainian armed forces." The DPR defense ministry has photographs on which weapons and equipment can be seen in the Shirokino, Pishchevik and Pavlopol settlements. "The photos also clearly show that the Ukrainian troops have prepared engineering works for hostilities. This confirms that the Ukrainian military grossly violate the Minsk agreements by means of the armed seizure of the so-called grey zone," Basurin said.
He added that the Ukrainian command plans to move Ukrainian army conscripts to the conflict zone in the Donbas region. "Our reconnaissance units report that the arrival of up to 100 new recruits is expected in Artemovsk to reinforce the units in the zone of the so-called ‘anti-terrorist operation.’ They were called up for military service during the 2015 autumn draft", the DOR defense spokesman said.