26 February 2019, 17:57



Ukraine massing banned hardware outside Popasnaya, Svetlodarsk - LPR militia

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LUGANSK, February 26 (Lugansk Media Centre) -  The largest concentration of Ukrainian hardware banned by the Minsk Agreements is recorded in the Popasnaya and Svetlodarsk areas, Lugansk People’s Republic People’s Militia’s spokesman Andrey Marochko said at a press briefing at the Lugansk Media Centre.

“As of this moment, the largest concentration of "Minsk-prohibited" weapons is recorded off Popasnaya and Svetlodarsk,” Marochko said.

The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission reported on February 25 that a Ukrainian army officer denied an SMM patrol the access to a heavy weapons storage site in a Kiev-controlled Lugansk region area saying that his commanders had not given such permission.

“Ukrainian forces do not let monitors enter the heavy weapons withdrawal areas because the weapons and hardware are missing, hence the order to keep the monitors away so that the OSCE SMM does not note this fact (in its report),” the spokesman said.

“We repeatedly recorded these weapons on Ukrainian army positions at the contact line and their use to deliver strikes at our Republic’s territory,” Marochko said.

He said that the LPR militia provides unhindered access to OSCE SMM staff to withdrawn weapons storage sites.

Earlier, Marochko said that Kiev forces, in violation of the Minsk Agreements, amass and deploy, in the course of unit rotation, large-calibre weapons and hardware within the withdrawal lines in the zone of the so-called “joint forces operation.”

Last week, OSCE SMM observes recorded 101 pieces of Ukrainian army hardware as missing from storage and withdrawal areas.

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regularly violated the truce opening fire with large calibre artillery, mortars and tank guns which were to have been withdrawn in accordance with the Minsk agreements.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 — 26 February — Lugansk