LUGANSK, September 6 (Lugansk Media Centre) - OSCE Special Monitoring Mission staff have confirmed that the Katerinovka settlement was shelled by Kiev forces, Lugansk People’s Republic People’s Militia spokesman Andrey Marochko said at a press briefing at the Lugansk Media Centre on Thursday.
Earlier, the OSCE SMM said in its daily report that on September 5, an SMM patrol in the Zolotoye area heard explosions assessed as outgoing rounds 150 to 200 meters from a Ukrainian checkpoint.
On the same day, Ukrainian mass media citing Zolotoye “military and civilian administration” head Konstantin Ilchenko accused the LPR of shelling Katerinovka with incendiary ammunition and starting a fire.
Marochko said that People’s Militia had confirmed the so-called “friendly fire” between positions of 14th Brigade deployed in the Zolotoye area.
“Yesterday, an attempt was made to blame the People’s Militia in the Katerinovka area for one of such strikes, but when Ukrainian commanders examined evidence and understood that we could not have possibly delivered that strike because of a large distance, tried to hold back this fact,” he said.
Zolotoye head Konstantin Ilchenko wrecked all the plans as he published the information about the shelling without approval by the Ukrainian military.
“Also, the OSCE SMM report released today caused inconvenience to war criminal (14th Brigade commander) Voichenko, in which the OSCE confirmed 14th Brigade’s firing at friendly positions,” Marochko said.
Earlier, the spokesman said that the OSCE SMM monitors’ reports had not confirmed the strikes by the LPR alleged by the headquarters of the so-called “Joint Forces Operation.”
The LPR militia stated its readiness to be fully committed to the ceasefire which came into effect at 00:01, on August 29, in accordance with the Contact Group’s decision.
The Republic’s Mission to the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination reported that Ukrainian army units had violated the “bread ceasefire” 115 times since it came into force, firing nearly 1,9000 rounds of ammunition at LPR People’s Militia positions.
After the August 22 talks in Minsk, OSCE special representative in the Contact Group Martin Sajdik said that the parties had stated their full commitment to indefinite ceasefire in connection with the beginning of the new schoolyear. The “school ceasefire” came into force at 00:01 on August 29.
The members of the Contact Group have announced ceasefire more than 20 times since autumn 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 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.