KIEV, May 2. /TASS/. Ukraine’s military has occupied 24 square kilometers of Donbass territory, including in three villages, Joint Forces Commander Sergey Nayev told a briefing on Thursday, stressing that there were no violations of the Minsk peace deal.
"Over the past year, thanks to thoroughly coordinated steps and resolute actions, without breaching the Minsk agreement, the Joint Forces have managed to improve tactical situation in certain areas at the distance of between 2 and 5 km. The result was returning the territory of nearly 24 square km, including three settlements," Nayev said.
Besides, during the Donbass operation the National Guard and National Police detained 1,358 individuals, including 415 on suspicion of participation in illegal armed groups.
Under the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements signed back in February 2015, the parties to the conflict in Donbass should have withdrawn military hardware in order to create a security zone. In September 2015, participants of the Contac Group agreed on setting up a 30-km buffer zone by pulling out light weapons 15 km away from the contact line. The deployment of forces of any side to the settlements located there comes in violation of international agreements. During the military operation in Donbass, the Kiev forces have repeatedly declared seizing new positions in the buffer zone.