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Ukrainian military fire about 280 mortar shells on Donetsk outskirts

June 23, 9:26 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, June 23. /TASS/. Units of the Ukrainian armed forces fired 274 mortar shells overnight on the northern and western outskirts of Donetsk, the Yasinovataya and Gorlovka areas, as well as on villages in the south of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), a DPR security source told the Donetsk News Agency on Thursday.

"In the period from 21:00 pm (Wednesday) to 02:00 am, the Ukrainian side shelled Spartak, Yasinovataya, the Donetsk airport territory, the settlements of Kominternovo, Sakhanka, Petrovskoye (Telman district), Mineralnoye and Vasilyevka," the agency reported.

Gorlovka, the Alexandrovka settlement and the Gagarin and Abakumov mines also came under fire.

"Overall, the Ukrainian side fired 194 mortar shells of 120 mm caliber and 80 shells of 82 mm caliber," the source said.

According to him, along with mortars the Ukrainian forces also used weapons of infantry fighting vehicles.

The information about casualties is being ascertained.

Members of the Contact Group for the settlement of the situation in the east of Ukraine at a meeting in Minsk on April 29 agreed on a complete ceasefire in Donbass starting from midnight on April 30. It is an eighth ceasefire agreement since the autumn of 2014. The sides however continue accusing each other of ceasefire violations.

Kiev’s security forces in the people’s militia ·· responsibility zone have been repeatedly violating the truce, opening fire from mortars and tank weapons, which had to be withdrawn in accordance with the Minsk agreements.

The Package of Measures to fulfil the September 2014 Minsk agreements, known as Minsk-2, that was signed in Minsk on February 12, 2015, envisaged a ceasefire regime between Ukrainian government forces and people’s militias in the self-proclaimed republics in Donetsk and Lugansk (DPR and LPR) starting from February 15, 2015 and a subsequent withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of engagement. The deal also laid out a roadmap for a lasting settlement in Ukraine, including local elections and constitutional reform to give more autonomy to the war-torn eastern regions. On Friday (June 17), Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine Konstantin Yeliseev told a news conference in Kiev that advisors to the leaders of the Normandy Quartet agreed at the meeting in Minsk on June 15-16 to prepare a new summit in the Normandy format (Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany) on the Ukrainian conflict’s peaceful settlement.

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