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Ukrainian military open fire 4,000 times at Donetsk republic over week

Ukrainian military have shelled the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) for nearly 4,000 times over the last week, DPR defense spokesman Eduard Basurin said on Saturday.

"Overall, Ukrainian military have violated the ceasefire 3,810 times over the week, including 3,042 strikes on the republic from artillery, tanks and mortars," the Donetsk news agency quoted Basurin as saying.

At least 25 settlements of the Donetsk People's Republic came under fire opened by Ukrainian troops, Basurin said. In the DPR south, the villages of Kominternovo, Leninskoye, Bezumennoye and Sakhanka along with the village of Yasnoye on the outskirts of the town of Dokuchayevsk, the villages of Zaitsevo in the north of Gorlovka and Yelenovka in the south-west of Donetsk and the city's Kievsky and Petrovsky districts were targeted by the Ukrainian military.

"As a result of Ukrainian troops' shelling, 53 households have been damaged in the settlements of Zaitsevo, Yelenovka, Yasnoye, Stepnoye, Kominternovo and Donetsk's Kievsky and Petrovsky districts over the week," he said.

On August 26, the parties to the Contact Group for settling the armed civil conflict in eastern Ukraine made a yet another, ninth, attempt to attain ceasefire. The agreement they reached suggests the ceasefire takes effect as of September 1. However, the Ukrainian side keeps on shelling DPR's settlements. Despite the ongoing provocations, the leaders of the self-proclaimed republics, the DPR and LPR (Lugansk People's Republic), on September 13 banned their servicemen to open retaliatory fire in response to provocations from Ukrainian troops.

The Package of Measures to fulfil the September 2014 Minsk agreements, known as Minsk-2, that was signed in Minsk on February 12, 2015, envisaged a ceasefire regime between Ukrainian government forces and people's militias in the self-proclaimed republics in Donetsk and Lugansk (DPR and LPR) starting from February 15, 2015 and a subsequent withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of engagement. The deal also laid out a roadmap for a lasting settlement in Ukraine, including local elections and constitutional reform to give more autonomy to the war-torn eastern regions.

[Source: Itar Tass, Donetsk, 04Nov16]

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