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23 October 2018, 20:11

MILITARY&DEFENCE

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LPR militia, Afghan war vets retrieve Zolotoye mine blast victims’ bodies (PHOTOS)

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LUGANSK, October 23 (Lugansk Media Centre) - The Lugansk People’s Republic militia jointly with Afghan war veterans evacuated the bodies of two civilians killed in a mine explosion in Ukraine-controlled Zolotoye-4 settlement earlier this month, LPR People’s Militia spokesman Andrey Marochko said.

Two civilians, a man and a woman, were killed in the explosion of anti-personnel mines in the 2nd Volnaya Street in Kiev-controlled Zolotoye-4 on October 18. The tragedy occurred after the local residents, having failed to secure the assistance or understanding of Kiev forces, tried to fix the line feeding electricity to their homes.

Later on, Konstantin Ilchenko, head of the so-called “military-civilian administration of Zolotoye, Popasnaya district, alleged that the man and the woman had died in the LPR-controlled territory and that the LPR militia had not let the relatives of Ukrainian authorities retrieve the bodies. On Tuesday morning Marochko said that the LPR People’s Militia, due to Ukraine’s inaction, would try to evacuate the victims’ bodies.

“Today, at the initiative of the LPR Office at the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination and with the assistance of international organisations, the LPR retrieved the bodies of two civilians killed in the Ukrainian mine blast in the Zolotoye-4 area on October 18,” Marochko said.

“Ukraine did not respond to our calls for evacuating the bodies lying next to Ukrainian positions which could be seen with the naked eye. That is why we made this decision and evacuated the bodies to the territory under our control,” the spokesman said. 

The operation to retrieve the bodies involved LPR People’s Militia engineer, LPR representatives in the JCCC and volunteers from the Lugansk Region Afghan War Veterans organisation.

Representatives of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine and the International Committee of the Red Cross were monitoring the evacuation.

Lugansk Regions Afghan War Veterans chairman Sergey Shonin noted that LPR engineers had found the bodies of a man and a woman near a house in Zolotoye-4.

“We’ve carried out the evacuation of two civilians killed in a blast near a house. It was finished in “good silence” (under agreed ceasefire - eds Lugansk Media Centre); everything was done at the top level; we thank all the participants,” he said. The bodies will be taken to the morgue for identification, the volunteer added.

Earlier Marochko said that OSCE observers had confirmed the death of two civilians in Ukraine-controlled Zolotoye-4.

On Monday, the LPR Mission to the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination asked the OSCE SMM and ICRC representatives to provide assistance in the soonest evacuation of the bodies of the civilians.

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 its 2202 Resolution 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 — 23 October — Lugansk