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Ukrainian military violate New Year cease-fire regime in Donbass - agency

December 31, 2016, 12:27 UTC+3 DONETSK

"Yesterday, from the Ukrainian positions at about 23:30 was opened fire on Zaitsevo, about seven times," he told the Donetsk News Agency, adding no victims or damage have been reported

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DONETSK, December 31. /TASS/. The Ukrainian military on Friday night shelled settlements Zaitsevo, Sakhanka and Krasnoarmeiskoye in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), Gorlovka’s acting mayor Ivan Prikhodko said on Saturday.

"Yesterday, from the Ukrainian positions at about 23:30 was opened fire on Zaitsevo, about seven times," he told the Donetsk News Agency, adding no victims or damage have been reported.

Earlier the republic’s spokesman of the defense authorities Eduard Basurin said over the outgoing year the Ukrainian military more than 143,000 times opened fire on the republic’s settlements, and - as of December - deployed in Donbass more than 32,000 personnel and 2,000 equipment units.

Recent developments

On December 21, the Contact Group seeking to find a solution to the Donbass crisis agreed to introduce a ceasefire in Donbass starting from midnight December 24. The current attempt to "indefinitely" cease the fire in Donbass has become the tenth since the conflict erupted in southeastern Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed an agreement to introduce a "regime of silence" along the contact line in southeast Ukraine on December 24, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. "Russia’s president hails the Contact Group’s agreement to declare a ‘regime of silence’ along the engagement line in southeast Ukraine, starting from midnight December 24."

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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