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Ukrainian military 3 times over week open fire on Lugansk Republic

February 06, 2016, 15:16 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The military opened fire two times on positions of the militia, using an IFV (infantry fighting vehicle), 120 and 82mm mortars and anti-aircraft weapons

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MOSCOW, February 6. /TASS/. Ukraine’s Armed Forces over the past week three times opened fire on territory of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) from positions at the Trekhizbyonka settlement, spokesman of the local militia Igor Yaschenko said on Saturday.

"Within this week, the Ukrainian military have violated three times the ceasefire regime," LuganskIformCenter quoted him.

The spokesman said on February 2, the military opened fire two times on positions of the militia, using an IFV (infantry fighting vehicle), 120 and 82mm mortars and anti-aircraft weapons. On February 3, the shelling from the same positions resumed, and the military fired 12 mines from a 82mm mortar.

Ukrainian troops have been engaged in fighting with local militias during Kiev’s punitive operation, underway since mid-April 2014, against the breakaway territories - the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics constituting parts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine.

Massive shelling of residential neighborhoods, including with the use of aviation, has killed thousands and led to a humanitarian disaster in the area.

Kiev has regularly violated the ceasefire regime imposed as part of the Package of Measures on implementation of the September 2014 Minsk Agreements.

The Package (Minsk-2) was signed on February 12, 2015 in the Belarusian capital Minsk by participants of the Contact Group on settlement in Donbass. The Package, earlier agreed with the leaders of the Normandy Four (Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine) envisioned an overwhelming cessation of fire and withdrawal of heavy armaments to create a security area in the region at least 50 kilometers wide.

In line with the agreement reached at talks in Minsk, from September 1, 2015 there should have been a complete cessation of fire at the disengagement line in Donbass. However, the Defense Ministry of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) has registered an increased number of shelling instances over the past few months.

At the recent meeting of the Contact Group on January 13, the sides supported the initiative of Russia’s envoy Boris Gryzlov on ensuring complete ceasefire on the territory of Donbass. This is the seventh attempt to observe fully the ceasefire regime in Ukraine’s south-east. At the Contact Group’s meeting in Minsk, the parties expressed regret over continuing violations of the ceasefire regime in Donbass. OSCE Special Representative for Ukraine Martin Sajdik said that the sides discussed establishing a mechanism on preventing resumption of military actions in general.

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