20 February 2020, 15:12
LPR hands over body, remains of killed servicemen to Ukraine
LUGANSK, February 20 (Lugansk Media Centre) - Lugansk People’s Republic representatives at the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination and Lugansk Region Afghan Veterans Union activists handed over to Ukraine the body of Ukrainian serviceman Maxim Khitailov who was killed during Kiev commandos’ attempt to approach LPR militia positions in the Golubovskoye settlement area on February 18, and the remains of a Ukrainian serviceman killed during the 2014 Lugansk Airport fighting. The handover took place in the Seversky Donets bridge area outside the Schastye settlement.
“We currently find ourselves next to the farthest point on the LPR contact line and today, we’ll hand over the body of a serviceman from the Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance group who was killed on February 18, as well as the remains of the servicemen killed on the airport premises in 2014,” LPR representative to the Contact Group humanitarian subgroup, head of the Republic’s working group on prisoner exchange Olga Kobtseva told reporters.
A DNA test helped establish the identity of the fatality of which Ukraine was informed. “Today, we’re meeting our commitment to hand over the body and the bone remains. Both casualties have been identified,” Kobtseva added.
Earlier, the LPR militia reported that a Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance group had hit a minefield as it attempted to approach LPR militiamen’s positions in the Golubovskoye area. At least two Ukrainian servicemen were killed and another three were wounded.
The LPR People’s Militia said that Kiev forces delivered a massive strike at LPR settlements in order to evacuate the commandoes killed and wounded in the raid.
Later on, LPR officers at the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination evacuated the body of 22-year-old grenadier Maxim Khitailov.
Kobtseva said that the LPR had told Ukraine that it would meet its request to hand over his body.
The LPR Office at the JCCC reported that civil infrastructure facilities in the town of Kirovsk and the Donetskiy settlement had sustained multiple damage in shelling by Ukrainian forces. A civilian was wounded as Ukrainian forces shelled the Golubovskoye settlement.
The members of the Contact Group have announced ceasefire more than 20 times since the autumn of 2014. Kiev forces regularly violated the truce opening fire with large calibre artillery, mortars and tank guns which were to have been withdrawn in accordance with the Minsk agreements.
The Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements was adopted by the Contact Group on Ukraine on February 12, 2015 and supported by member states of the Normandy Four (Germany, Russia, Ukraine and France). The UN Security Council approved the document by Resolution 2202 and called upon all the sides to ensure full implementation of the Package of Measures.
The document provides for comprehensive ceasefire, withdrawal of all heavy weapons from the contact line, starting a dialog on reconstruction of social and economic ties between Kiev and Donbass. It also envisages carrying out constitutional reform in Ukraine providing for decentralization and adopting permanent legislation on a special status of certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.
LuganskMediaCentre — 20 February — Lugansk