Kiev Violates Ceasefire Deal, Shells Positions Including Donetsk Airport

© AP Photo / Evgeniy MaloletkaUkrainian servicemen ride atop an armored vehicle with a Ukrainian flag, on the outskirts of Donetsk, Ukraine
Ukrainian servicemen ride atop an armored vehicle with a Ukrainian flag, on the outskirts of Donetsk, Ukraine - Sputnik International
Deputy commander of the Donetsk militia, Eduard Basurin stated that the Ukrainian forces violated the ceasefire by shelling Donetsk army positions.

Ukrainian servicemen stand near armoured personnel carriers, military vehicles and cannons at their new position as they pull back from the Horlivka region, near Druzhkivka, eastern Ukraine. - Sputnik International
DPR Urges Kiev to Ensure Transparent Implementation of Weapons Pullout
DONETSK (Sputnik) – Kiev government forces have violated the ceasefire agreements, including by shelling the airport of Donetsk, a deputy commander of the Donetsk militia, Eduard Basurin, said Friday.

“At 11:15 [Moscow time, 08:00 GMT] Donetsk army positions came under fire. This is how the Ukrainian side complies with the obligations it had undertaken, namely on ceasefire and heavy weaponry withdrawal,” Basurin told reporters.

Basurin also said that there was little optimism about Kiev’s heavy weaponry withdrawal from the frontlines, referring to reconnaissance information from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR).

“Information coming from our reconnaissance on the situation near the frontlines from the Ukrainian side does not give us the feeling of optimism in regard to Kiev’s rapid implementation of this point in the Minsk agreements,” the deputy commander said, adding that under the guise of withdrawing heavy artillery, “the Ukrainian side is holding a covert rotation.”

On Wednesday, the Ukrainian military said that it had begun the second stage of its heavy weapons withdrawal. Independence militias claim they completed the process on Sunday, thus meeting the deadline imposed by the Minsk deal.

The Minsk peace accord, hammered out by leaders of France, Russia, Germany and Ukraine on February 12, outlines steps toward reconciliation in war-torn eastern Ukraine. Specifically, the main points of the deal include the implementation of a ceasefire by both sides, in force from February 15. The warring parties were also both given two weeks to pull their artillery out of striking distance under the new ceasefire deal.

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