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Kiev military open fire on militia’s positions in Lugansk Republic

December 10, 2016, 16:32 UTC+3 LUGANSK

Units of the Ukrainian military over the outgoing week 18 times violated the ceasefire regime, head of the republic’s defense authority said

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LUGANSK, December 10. /TASS/. Units of the Ukrainian military over the outgoing week 18 times violated the ceasefire regime as they opened fire on positions of the people’s militia in the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) from mortars, head of the republic’s defense authority Oleg Anashchenko said on Saturday.

"Between December 4 ANDF 10, the Ukrainian military violated 18 times the ceasefire regime as they used mortars of 120 and 82mm calibers, outlawed by the Minsk agreements, to launch 314 mines on the republic’s territory," he said.

On December 8, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said opening the OSCE Ministerial Council as its Chairperson-in-Office "the truce in Ukraine is perceived by the sides more like a recommendation rather than an unconditional demand." Steinmeier added over the past weeks the situation in the region has deteriorated. The efforts to achieve a peaceful settlement in Donbass have been continuing for two years, but "all the sides should choose this path, and this is happening slowly, too slowly," he said, adding that "for me this is unacceptable."

On November 25, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the OSCE Alexander Lukashevich speaking at a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council voiced concern over on-going shelling of utilities infrastructure in the self-proclaimed republics. In his words, of special concern is the shelling "of a filtering station in Yasinovataya which was cut off electricity supplies." According to Lukashevich, Russia has heard numerous calls voiced by the United States and other countries to ensure security of infrastructure facilities to avoid serious environmental impacts. "The facility in Yasinovataya was listed among them," he noted. "We call on our partners to take more resolute steps to make Kiev stop such incidents," the Russian diplomat stressed.

Withdrawal agreements

On September 21, the Trilateral Contact Group on the settlement of the conflict in eastern Ukraine reached a framework agreement on disengagement of forces in Donbass. It took three months to agree this document. Stage one is to create security zones at three sections of the line of contact, namely near Zolotoye, Petrovskoye and Stanitsa Luganskaya.

The agreement envisages withdrawal of armed forces from the line of contact to create security zones at least two kilometers wide and two kilometers deep. The entire disengagement process, including preparatory measures, is to take not more than 30 days for each of the sections. The document is also applicable to other sections that might be agreed by the parties in further consultations.

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.

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