15:07 GMT27 January 2021
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    Senior official from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic stated that joint commission investigating a recent attack on a passenger bus in eastern Ukraine that killed at least 12 people will begin its work on January 15.

    DONETSK, January 14 (Sputnik) A joint commission investigating a recent attack on a passenger bus in eastern Ukraine that killed at least 12 people will begin its work on January 15, a senior official from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) said Wednesday.

    "A working meeting of the center on implementation of the Minsk memorandum was held today…resulting in an initiative to set up a joint commission to launch an independent investigation of the incident," deputy speaker of the DPR's People's Council, Denis Pushilin, told RIA Novosti.

    "The commission will include representatives from Ukraine, Russia and the DPR, as well as monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe," Pushilin, who is also DPR's envoy at Ukraine reconciliation talks, said.

    "The commission could start its work as early as tomorrow, on January 15," Pushilin added.

    The Ukrainian military said on Tuesday that a passenger bus was shelled near the town of Volnovakha in the Donetsk region. The incident claimed 12 lives and left another 18 people injured. The DPR authorities have denied any involvement in the attack.

    Late on Tuesday, the United Nations Security Council condemned the attack and called for an impartial investigation into the case.

    Earlier on Wednesday, deputy chief of the OSCE monitoring mission in Ukraine Alexander Hug told journalists that the mission has proposed Russia, Ukraine and DPR establish a joint group to investigate the tragedy.

    The OSCE mission also proposed to establish a localized ceasefire regime in the areas around Donetsk airport, where clashes between independence fighters and Kiev forces have resumed, and start joint patrols of the territory. According to Hug, the patrols should be conducted by Donetsk independence supporters together with representatives from the Joint Center on Control and Coordination in Debaltsovo established by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry in cooperation with Russia.

    Kiev began its military operation to suppress the independence supporters of southeastern Ukraine in mid-April, 2014. According to the UN humanitarian agency OCHA, more than 4,800 people have been killed in the armed conflict.

    On September 5, the warring sides reached a ceasefire agreement under the mediation of Russia and the OSCE. Since then, both Kiev forces and Donetsk and Luhansk independence supporters have repeatedly accused each other of violating the truce.


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