DONETSK, August 18. /TASS/. The delegation of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) will raise the issue of the use of rocket artillery by the Ukrainian army at the upcoming Contact Group meeting in Minsk on August 26, DPR chief negotiator, Denis Pushilin, said on Thursday.
"The situation is escalating," Donetsk News Agency quotes him as saying. "We will raise this issue in Minsk. We regularly discuss this, but, unfortunately, the situation is only getting worse."
Earlier it became known that the Ukrainian army opened fire from the Grad multiple rocket launchers to shell Telmanovsky district in the south of the DPR. Besides, the DPR command has reported on numerous occasions that Kiev amassed troops near the contact line in the Donbass region.
A source in the operational command of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said nineteen houses had been damaged by artillery fire from Ukrainian army positions in the vicinity of Yasinovataya, Dokuchaevsk, Gorlovka and in west Donetsk.
"According to verified data, the artillery fire that rained down on the outskirts of Dokuchaevsk, in Gorlovka’s Nikitovsky district and Donetsk’s Petrovsky district damaged 19 houses and a cafe," the source explained. No casualties were reported.
Earlier reports said that the Ukrainian army hammered the Donetsk republic with a barrage of 133 artillery shells late on Wednesday and into the small hours of Thursday knocking out 80 transforming stations and damaging a mine. Kiev-controlled forces also shelled the area where the Russian office of the Joint Center for Ceasefire Control and Coordination (JCCC) is located. "At around 0:30 a.m. the Russian JCCC observers working in the DPR again came under artillery fire from the Ukrainian armed forces. A direct shell strike ignited a warehouse near the observation post," Donetsk News Agency quotes the DPR command as saying. The observers were evacuated to a safe place, and no injuries were reported.
"Each incident where Ukrainian armed forces used weapons prohibited under the Minsk agreements will be thoroughly investigated by the Russian division of the JCCC. Representatives of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission will be briefed on the results," the source stressed.
This is the third time an area close to JCCC’s quarters was shelled over the past four days. In the previous two cases, projectiles came from 122mm artillery guns. That said, the DPR command decided to distribute 20 sets of personal protective gear - helmets and bullet-proof vests - to observation posts located close to the contact line.