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Donbass militia leaders forbid their military to open fire in response to provocations

September 13, 16:56 UTC+3 LUGANSK
The heads of the two republics hope this step will be an example for Ukraine
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Igor Plotnitsky and Alexander Zakharchenko

Igor Plotnitsky and Alexander Zakharchenko

© Alexander Khudoteply/TASS

LUGANSK/DONETSK, September 13. /TASS/. Heads of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky have prohibited their military units to open fire in response to provocations from Kiev-controlled forces.

"I have given the appropriate instructions, to establish a ceasefire as of midnight on September 15, 2016," Plotnitsky said in a statement posted on the website of the Luganskinformtsentr news agency. "All People’s Militia units of the Lugansk People’s Republic are strictly forbidden to open fire in response to artillery bombardments and provocations from the Ukrainian army and National Guard.

For his part, the DPR head said he issued similar decrees. "We fully comply with the Minsk agreements," he told the Rossiya 24 TV channel. "We see this as a goodwill gesture rather than weakness."

The heads of the two republics expressed the hope that this step will be an example for the Ukrainian leadership. "We call on OSCE observers to conduct real and impartial monitoring of compliance with the cessation of hostilities," the statement said.

Members of the Contact Group on the settlement in eastern Ukraine agreed at an August 26 meeting in Minsk on a continuous ceasefire on the line of contact in Donbass as of September 1, the ninth one since the autumn 2014 agreement. However, the parties to the conflict continue to accuse each other of violating the truce.

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