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Ukrainian military seizes Gladosovo settlement in ‘grey zone’ near Gorlovka

The Ukrainian military had brought mortars to the settlement and started to plant mines in its neighborhood, spokesman for the Operational Command of the DPR said

DONETKS, November 23. /TASS/. The Ukrainian military has seized the Gladosovo settlement located in the buffer zone near the city of Gorlovka, local residents have been told to remain at home, a spokesman for the Operational Command of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said.

"Tonight, militants from the 54th Separate Mechanized Brigade and the Aidar battalion have blatantly bullied the residents of the Gladosovo settlement," the Donetsk News Agency quoted the spokesman as saying. "Under the cover of the night, the raiders entered the settlement and blocked every house, prohibiting locals from going outside, threatening them with weapons," the spokesman added.

He stressed that the Ukrainian military had brought mortars to the settlement and started to plant mines in its neighborhood. The DPR Operational Command said that such actions amounted to taking civilian prisoners and were a gross violation of the Minsk Agreements.

On November 3, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko signed a decree saying that the Shirokino settlement was no longer part of the Donbass "grey zone." A new civil military administration was formed to rule Shirokino and the Berdyanskoye settlement in the Volnovakhsky District of the Donetsk region.

The Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements stipulates a comprehensive ceasefire and the withdrawal of heavy weapons aimed at establishing a security zone no less than 50 kilometers wide. The document, agreed on by the leaders of the Normandy Quartet countries (Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine), was signed by members of the Contact Group on February 12, 2015. In September 2015, the Contact Group on resolving the situation in eastern Ukraine sighed an additional provision stipulating that both parties should withdraw light weapons 15 kilometers away from the line of contact in order to set up a 30-kilometer buffer zone (or a "grey zone").

However, Kiev violated the Minsk Agreements, launching a "creeping offensive" to seize settlements located in the "grey zone." According to the Donbass republics, in 2015 and 2016, the Ukrainian military seized eight settlements in the buffer zone - Pishchevik, Pavlopol, Vinogradnoye, Gnutovo, Shirokino, Bakhmutovka, Zhovanka and Troitskoye.