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Ukrainian military use heavy artillery against Donetsk republic

March 12, 15:54 UTC+3
The military opened fire on the area of the Donetsk airport, on the Spartak settlement
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MOSCOW, March 12. /TASS/. The Ukrainian military during the past night opened fire on a checkpoint in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), the Donetsk News Agency said on Saturday.

"Last night, the Ukrainian side used artillery of 152-mm caliber near the Yasinovataya checkpoint," a source at defense authorities told the agency.

Sniper shooting also continued, the source said.

The military opened fire on the area of the Donetsk airport, on the Spartak settlement. There, the military launched eleven mines of 120-mm caliber and used small arms.

Earlier on Saturday, militia of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) reported who violations of ceasefire during the past 24 hours. Headquarters of the punitive operation in Donbass, in their turn, claimed the self-proclaimed republics in Donbass are responsible for 75 cases of fire.

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. 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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