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Donetsk authorities report night without shelling along line of engagement

March 06, 11:48 UTC+3 MOSCOW
"Everything is quiet, for the third day running, which is even strange," head of the Petrov district Maxim Zhukovsky said
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MOSCOW, March 6. /TASS/. Authorities of the districts in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), which are located along the line of engagement, say they have not fixed shelling from positions of the Ukrainian military, the Donetsk News Agency reported on Sunday.

"Everything is quiet, for the third day running, which is even strange," head of the Petrov district Maxim Zhukovsky said.

Reports about the quiet night also came from Makeyevka, Gorlovka, Yasinovataya and the Novo-Azov district.

At a meeting of the Contact Group on settlement of the situation in Ukraine’s south east, on January 13, the parties agreed the ceasefire would begin on January 14, however the militia and the military continue accusing each other of truce violations.

At the Munich Security Conference in February, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Russia is concerned about several aspects regarding settlement of the Ukrainian conflict. First of all, complete ceasefire regime is still not established in Ukraine’s south-east; fire is opened regularly along the line of engagement. Secondly, Ukraine still has not adopted changes to its constitution, nor does it observe the legislation regarding the special status of Donbass. Instead of elements of decentralization, agreed with the regions, they adopt the so-called "transition provisions," which contradicts the Minsk agreements. Thirdly, he continued, Kiev still insists the elections in Donbass should be on the basis of the new Ukrainian law without any discussions with the region, Kiev also ignores its obligations for a wide amnesty of those who participated in the events of 2014-2015.

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 leaders of Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine. The package of measures also envisages weaponry withdrawal, prisoner exchange, local election in Donbass, constitutional reform in Ukraine and establishing working sub-groups on security, political, economy and humanitarian components of the Minsk accords.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, said in a comment on the 13th report on Ukraine, the document shows that "the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine remains tenuous, with reported violations of the ceasefire, the continued occurrences of indiscriminate shelling and the presence of anti-personnel mines and remnants of war. Between 16 November 2015 and 15 February 2016, 78 conflict-related civilian casualties were recorded in eastern Ukraine, bringing the estimated casualty figures since the beginning of the conflict to more than 30,000 people, including at least 9,160 killed and 21,000 injured (figures include civilians as well as Ukrainian armed forces, and members of armed groups).

"The implementation of the Minsk Agreements is the only viable strategy for achieving a peaceful solution in certain areas of eastern Ukraine controlled by armed groups, which, in turn, is key for resolving the human rights crisis in Ukraine. This includes the restoration of effective control by the Government of Ukraine over the border with the Russian Federation and the withdrawal of foreign fighters, mercenaries and military equipment," the commissioner said.

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