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11 houses in Donetsk Republic damaged in shelling from Ukrainian military’s positions

March 04, 11:37 UTC+3 DONETSK

Ukrainian military continue violating ceasefire in Lugansk Republic, said the republic’s defense authority

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© AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka

DONETSK, March 4. /TASS/. Eleven private houses were damaged in Donetsk’s Petrov distric and in Zaitsevo (Gorlovka’s suburb) in the night shelling from positions of the Ukrainian military, local authorities told the Donetsk News Agency on Saturday.

"After the night shelling, one house burned down in Alexandrovka’s Sumchenko Street, roofs and windows damaged in 16, 17 Shevchenko Street and in 158 Shkolnaya Streeet," the district’s head Maxim Zhukovsky said. "Houses from 1 to 28 in Shevchenko Street are cut off electricity."

Five houses were damaged in the Zaitsevo settlement, Gorlovka’s suburb, representative of the local administration Ivan Prikhodko said.

No victims among civilians have been reported.

At the same time Ukraine’s Armed Forces 18 times opened fire on the militia’s positions in the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) over the past 24 hours, the republic’s defense authority told LuganskInformCenter on Saturday.

"Under fire were Pervomaisk, Frunze, Sokolniki, Lozovoye, Logvinovo, Kalinovka, Kalinovo," the agency quoted the defense authority’s representative. "They used 120 and 82mm mortars, weapons of infantry fighting vehicles, anti-tank grenade launchers, automatic guns, and small arms."

In late January, the situation along the line of contact in Donbass deteriorated dramatically. The Contact Group for settling the situation in eastern Ukraine announced that weapons banned by the Minsk agreements should be withdrawn from the line of contact by February 5, but the decision was not implemented.

On February 15, the Contact Group made another decision stipulating that all weapons banned by the Minsk agreements should be withdrawn from the line of contact by February 20. Foreign ministers of the four member states of the Normandy Quartet (Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine) upheld this initiative at a meeting that took place on February 18. However, according to the self-proclaimed republics, Kiev has been hampering the implementation of this decision. The Ukrainian authorities, in turn, have been accusing the self-proclaimed republics of violating the ceasefire.

Since the autumn of 2014, members of the Contact Group on settling the situation in eastern Ukraine have announced ceasefires in Donbass more than ten times. However, the Ukrainian military have been repeatedly violating ceasefires, particularly using large caliber guns, mortars and tanks that should be withdrawn from the line of contact in accordance with the Minsk agreements.

At the recent meeting of the Contact Group, held on March 1, the parties agreed to resume the weapons withdrawal process on March 7.

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