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DONETSK, October 22. /TASS/. The Ukrainian military more than 260 times opened fire on districts of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), where one militia was killed, the republic’s defense spokesman Eduard Basurin told the Donetsk News Agency on Saturday.
"The situation in the Donetsk People’s Republic remains tense," he said. "In the past day, the Ukrainian militants 261 times violated the ceasefire regime, where 74 times they used the banned weapons. One military was killed from a mortar."
"The Ukrainian military corrected the artillery using drones and artillery reconnaissance complexes supplies from the U.S.," he said.
On Friday, the spokesman said "over the week, the Ukrainian military have violated the ceasefire 3,161 times, including 2,477 times from artillery, tanks and mortars."
A total of 35 populated localities came under shelling by Ukraine’s Armed Forces, he said. Areas near the villages of Sakhanka, Leninskoye and Bezymennoye were reported to have come under the most intense shelling.
"We call on the OSCE SMM (the Special Monitoring Group in Ukraine of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe - eds. TASS) to thoroughly investigate each fact and to give an unbiased assessment of the Ukrainian troops’ criminal actions," he said.
On August 26, the parties to the Contact Group for settling the armed civil conflict in eastern Ukraine made a yet another, ninth, attempt to attain ceasefire. The agreement they reached suggests the ceasefire takes effect as of September 1. However, the Ukrainian side keeps on shelling DPR’s settlements. The DPR has been daily reporting more than 100 episodes of shelling with the use of weapons of 120mm and 122mm caliber.
Despite the ongoing provocations, the leaders of the self-proclaimed republics, the DPR and LPR (Lugansk People’s Republic), on September 13 banned their servicemen to open retaliatory fire in response to provocations from Ukrainian troops. On the following day, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said after talks in Kiev that Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko had also guaranteed Ukraine’s readiness to observe truce in Donbass.
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.