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Government forces reportedly shell village in Ukraine's east at night

January 14, 11:54 UTC+3 MOSCOW
On Wednesday the Contact Group on settling the situation in south-east Ukraine agreed that it is necessary to observe the ceasefire regime in Donbas
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© AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka

MOSCOW, January 14. /TASS/. Ukrainian forces have been shelling the Spartak settlement on the northern outskirts of Donetsk all night, local residents told Donetsk News Agency on Thursday.

"Ukrainian forces opened fire last evening, on January 13. The shelling continued for the whole night. Separate shots can still be heard," one of the residents said.

She added that Ukrainian forces are shelling Spartak from the neighboring settlement of Opytnoye, as well as from their positions near the Butovskaya mine using tanks, anti-aircraft systems and small arms.

On Wednesday the Contact Group on settling the situation in south-east Ukraine agreed that it is necessary to observe the ceasefire regime in Donbas. "We fully support the proposal (of Russian envoy to the Contact Group) to make a new attempt to ensure full ceasefire observance on the occasion of the Old New Year," the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) envoy Martin Sajdik said. This is the sixth attempt since autumn 2014 to fully observe the ceasefire in Donbas.

Ceasefire is envisaged by the Minsk accords signed on 12 February 2015, after negotiations in the so-called "Normandy format" in the Belarusian capital Minsk, bringing together Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

The Minsk accords also envisage weaponry withdrawal, prisoner exchange, local election in Donbas, constitutional reform in Ukraine and establishing working sub-groups on security, political, economy and humanitarian components of the Minsk accords.

The Ukrainian forces and the self-defense forces of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk republics have repeatedly accused each other of violating ceasefire and other points of the Minsk agreements.

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