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Kiev unilaterally closes another border checkpoint in Donbass

Kiev has unilaterally closed Maryinka border checkpoint in Donbass citing security concerns, State Border Guard Service of Ukraine's press service said on Wednesday.

"The headquarters made the decision to temporarily suspend allowing individuals and vehicles through the aforementioned checkpoint from 12am on February 17," the press service said.

The possibility of reopening the checkpoint will be considered after "the situation stabilizes in the region," the press service added.

Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council already closed Maryinka checkpoint on February 13 saying it was necessary to ensure safety of local residents. However, cars were allowed to pass the checkpoint to and from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) on the next day. Kiev previously closed border checkpoints in Zaytsevo and Mayorsk.

DPR defense ministry spokesman Eduard Barusin said earlier that Ukrainian authorities engage in open terror against Donbass residents by closing border checkpoints and mining roads. "Ukrainian commanders have in fact engaged in standards of open terror against Donbass residents and full blockade of DPR and LPR (self-proclaimed Lugansk People's Republic). Kiev does not only close border checkpoints but also mines busy roads and pedestrian lanes used only by peaceful citizens," Donetsk News Agency quoted Basurin as saying.

Kiev expands area of shelling in Donbass

Ukrainian forces have expanded the area of shellings in the south of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), head of Novoazovsky district's administration Oleg Morgun said on Wednesday.

"Ukrainian forces shelled the settlement of Naberezhnoye yesterday, they have not opened fire at this settlement before. Four residential houses were damaged," Donetsk News Agency quoted Morgun as saying.

He noted that Kiev forces opened fire from automatic grenade launchers from their positions in Chermalyk village.

Over 200 shells fired at Donetsk outskirts overnight

According to a source in law enforcement agencies of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, the northern and western outskirts of Donetsk were shelled overnight to Wednesday.

"During the overnight shelling, the Ukrainian forces fired more than 200 shells at the Staromikhailovka village, the airport's territory and the outskirts of the Volvo Center," the source told the Donetsk news agency.

Kiev forces fired more than 50 artillery shells of 152 mm caliber and over 150 shells of 82 mm and 120 mm caliber at the Donetsk outskirts. The Ukrainian forces also used grenade launchers and small arms during the shelling that lasted for around four hours.

Late on Tuesday, the Ukrainian forces shelled the Staromikhailovka village for several hours using heavy weaponry.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 17Feb16]

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