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18 August 2020, 19:58

MILITARY&DEFENCE

LPR militiaman denies Ukrainian media statement about his death

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LUGANSK, August 18 (Lugansk Media Centre) - Lugansk People’s Republic militiaman Andrey Kulibaba denied the Ukrainian mass media reports about his death during the attempt to defect to the Ukrainian army. 

Ukrainian media outlets earlier reported that LPR anti-retreat forces had shot and killed an LPR militiamen during his attempt to cross into Ukrainian-held territory together with his colleague.

“I never left my position; I did not defect to the Ukrainian army,” Kulibaba told the Lugansk Media Centre at the funeral of LPR militiaman Vladislav Motuzov who had been killed in Ukrainian sniper fire on August 15.

“I’m fine, alive and well; I was never wounded in the neck,” he added.

“I will live on; I will protect peace in my Republic and abide by the terms of the Minsk Agreements unlike the Ukrainian war dogs who treacherously violate the effective truce; (as a result) today we’re paying last respects to my comrade who was killed by a Ukrainian sniper,” the militiaman said.

He said that the LPR never had “anti-retreat” units and that the information about them was Ukrainian journalists’ hype.

LPR People’s Militia press service officer Ivan Filiponenko earlier said that amid the public outcry over the death of the LPR militiaman in Ukrainian strike, Ukrainian spin doctors were disseminating false information about an LPR defender’s defecting to Kiev forces. 

The Contact Group agreed the tighter ceasefire control measures starting at 00:01, July 27 at the July 22 videoconference. The Additional Measures to Strengthen the Ceasefire include: ban on offensive or reconnaissance operations, ban on using any aerial vehicles, ban on fire, including sniper fire; ban on deployment of heavy weapons to populated areas and adjacent territories, first of all, to civilian infrastructure, including schools, kindergartens, hospitals and public premises;    effective implementation of disciplinary measures against violators of the ceasefire and notification the Contact Group Coordinator thereof, who further notifies all its participants;  establishing and employing a coordination mechanism for reacting to ceasefire violations with assistance of the JCCC with its current membership; retaliatory fire in case of an offensive is allowed only in case it is opened on the order of appropriate command of the Ukrainian armed forces or LPR, DPR People's Militia after unsuccessful attempt to employ the above mentioned mechanism. The Contact Group shall be notified of such orders.

The LPR People’s Militia said that on July 26, the order envisioned by the additional measures to strengthen the ceasefire was communicated to the militiamen.

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.

Ukrainian government launched the so-called anti-terrorist operation against Donbass in April 2014. Conflict settlement relies on the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements, signed on February 12, 2015 in the Belarussian capital by the Contact Group members and coordinated by the Normandy Four heads of states (Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine). The UN Security Council approved the document by Resolution No 2202 of February 17, 2015 and called upon the parties to ensure its implementation.

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 — 18 August — Lugansk