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Kiev forces pull Grad rocket systems close to engagement line -- DPR

Kiev's forces are pulling heavy weaponry close to the engagement line with the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), spokesman for the DPR Defence Ministry Eduard Basurin said on Tuesday.

"The DPR reconnaissance continues registering the facts of the redeployment of the Ukrainian army's personnel and combat hardware. Two Grad batteries comprising 12 multiple launch rocket systems were seen redeployed towards Slaviansk," the Donetsk News Agency quoted the DPR defence spokesman as saying.

The DPR reconnaissance also reported about the movement of one 2S7 Pion self-propelled artillery gun in the south-western direction through the village of Konstantinovka and the detection of a DANA artillery piece and a BM-21 Grad system in the communities of Tsukurino and Lebedinskoye, the spokesman said.

The DPR Defence Ministry said on Monday the pro-Kiev forces had redeployed Grad multiple launch rocket systems to the area of the settlement of Andreyevka near Donetsk.

Minsk agreements

The package of measures for the fulfillment of the Minsk ceasefire accords, which was signed by the Contact Group on the Ukraine crisis settlement on February 12, obliges the warring sides to pull weapons with the caliber of 100 mm and more at a distance of 50 km (31 miles), multiple launch rocket systems at a distance of 70 km (43 miles), Uragan, Smerch volley fire rocket systems and Tochka ballistic missile complexes at a distance of 140 km (87 miles).

The sides undertook to pull back their weaponry at an equal distance, with Kiev withdrawing armaments from the current engagement line and the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics from the line registered in the Minsk memorandum of September 19.

However, the Ukrainian military has subjected populated areas of the Donetsk People's Republic to intensive fire in recent days, including with the use of heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems.

Thousands have been killed and hundreds of thousands of people have fled Ukraine's embattled east as a result of clashes between Ukrainian troops and local militias in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions during Kiev's military operation, launched in mid-April 2014 to regain control over parts of the breakaway territories, which call themselves the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 09Jun15]

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