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Videoconference of Contact Group on Donbass shellings finishes

June 10, 14:43 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The sides agreed on the necessity to immediately cease fire
1 pages in this article
Aftermath of the shelling in Donetsk region, June 09, 2016

Aftermath of the shelling in Donetsk region, June 09, 2016

© Mikhail Sokolov/TASS

MOSCOW/KIEV, June 10. /TASS/. The emergency videoconference of the Contact Group on the settlement of the situation in east Ukraine over shellings of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) have finished, the press service of DPR’s envoy to Minsk talks Denis Pushilin said on Friday.

"The talks of the Contact Group in the videoconference mode have come to an end," Donetsk News Agency quoted the press service as saying.

Darya Olifer, the press secretary of Kiev’s envoy to the Contact Group Leonid Kuсhma, said that after the talks, participants of the Contact Group "tasked JCCC (Joint Center for Control and Coordination) and OSCE’s SMM (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Special Monitoring Mission) with investigating all instances (of shellings) and report on them at the meeting in Minsk on June 15."

"They also agreed on the necessity to immediately cease fire," Olifer wrote on her Facebook page.

Situation on contact line in Donbass raises great concern

Russia’s Ambassador to the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe (OSCE) Alexander Lukashevich has accused Kiev of making every effort to disrupt the implementation of the Minsk Agreements.

"The situation on the contact line in Donbass raises great concern," Lukashevich said at the session of the OSCE Permanent Council. "Kiev makes every effort to disrupt the implementation of the Minsk Agreements and at the same time cynically tries to shift the blame to the opposite side," he added.

Lukashevich said that Ukrainian forces recently "undertook a clearly preplanned provocation - they deliberately opened fire at the residential quarters of Donetsk and Makeyevka."

"According to JCCC (Joint Center for Control and Coordination) observers, they fired up to 70 shells of over 122mm caliber. According to preliminary information, one civilian was killed, and 11 more were injured, including a 3-year-old child. Fifteen residential houses were damaged. Night shellings are comparable to the events of August 2015 in their intensity," the envoy noted.

"We expect from SMM (Special Monitoring Mission) and JCCC immediate investigation and registration of consequences of those shellings. It is necessary to stop Kiev’s provocations," he said. "In accordance with the supplement to the Package of measures from 29 September 2015, representatives of Donetsk called for an emergency meeting of the Contact Group in the videoconference mode. However, the Ukrainian side refused. We think that such behavior does not contribute to de-escalation," Lukashevich said.

"This is not a coincidence. This is the result of consistent actions of Ukrainian forces. At first, there are single shots, seizing grey zones to decrease the distance between opposing forces, then they are followed by massive shellings, including by heavy weaponry with use of drones for reconnaissance and adjusting fire. At last, they make attempts to break through the defense of the self-defense forces near Yasinovataya," he concluded.

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