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    An apartment in a five-storied residential building in Yasinovataya, Donbass, damaged in shelling by Ukrainian army. (File)

    Russian Envoy Calls for 'School Truce' in Donbass as Academic Year Looms

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    Russia's envoy to the trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine Boris Gryzlov told reporters on Wednesday he hopes the group supports the latest ceasefire proposal.

    MINSK (Sputnik) — Gryzlov said that he hoped the 'school truce' would be approved at the meeting of the Contact Group for the sake of children's safety and the entire civilian population of Donbass

    "We call on the parties to the conflict to make every effort to do this, and hope that the ceasefire will be respected more effectively," he said.

    Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine have expressed support for a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine timed ahead of the academic year, a German government spokesman said after four-level phone talks late Tuesday.

    The military conflict in Donbass started in 2014 after a coup in the country's capital city of Kiev. The new authorities launched a military operation after the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) refused to recognize them as a legitimate government.

    In February 2015, the parties to the Ukrainian conflict signed the Minsk peace accords to end the fighting in the crisis-affected region. Under the agreement, the conflicting parties have to introduce safe zones to stop violence and pave way for a diplomatic reconciliation. Nevertheless, sporadic armed conflicts keep reoccurring in the region.

    The conflict so far has claimed the lives of over 10,000 people.

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    Donetsk People’s Republic, Luhansk People’s Republic, Boris Gryzlov, Donbass, Ukraine
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