02:38 GMT19 April 2021
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    The Ukrainian authorities are deploying heavy weaponry, including howitzers, mortars and tanks, near the line of contact in eastern Ukraine, the deputy defense minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic's (DPR), Eduard Basurin, said Thursday.

    DONETSK (Sputnik) — He added that at least three tanks and about 400 servicemen had been observed in the settlements of Novohryhorivka and Donskoye respectively.

    "[Reconnaissance by the DPR] has revealed the location of three Gvozdika self-propelled 122 mm howitzers in [the settlement of] Novotroits'ke eight kilometers [5 miles] from the contact line. The location of a Grad multiple launch rocket system and of four 120 mm mortars has been discovered in Hranitne," Basurin told reporters.

    In April 2014, the Ukrainian authorities launched a military operation to suppress independence militia in the eastern region of Donbass. In February 2015, the two sides reached a ceasefire deal after talks brokered by the leaders of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine in the Belarusian capital, Minsk.

    Key points of the Minsk agreements include a ceasefire, heavy weapons withdrawal from the line of contact in eastern Ukraine, constitutional reforms, including a decentralization of power in the country, and granting a special status to the Donbass region.


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