The “comprehensive and complete ceasefire” in eastern Ukraine appears to be rapidly approaching its complete failure.
According to the Office of the People’s Militia of the Donetsk People’s Republic, despite the fact that the Ukrainian Armed Forces constantly violate the cease-fire regime, the Ukrainian command is not in a hurry to dish out any punishment on the guilty personnel.
“Within three days, the armed forces violate the existing truce, however, no trial or punishment of the perpetrators is presented by the Ukrainian side, which demonstrates who the true perpetrators behind the shelling are,” the Donetsk news agency reported.
The agreement for the indefinite and complete ceasefire in the Donbass came into force on July 21st, and it was in effect for approximately 12 hours, after which the DPR accused the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) of breaching it.
Mikhailovka, Gagarin, Verkhnetoretsk, Vasilyevka came under fire from various types of grenade launchers and small arms, including large-caliber weapons.
On the afternoon of July 23rd, for the first time since the beginning of the truce, the Ukrainian side used mortars in the shelling of the Dokuchaevsk frontline. The DPR expects heavier equipment to start being used soon.
As the head of the press service of the People’s Militia Department of the DPR, Major Daniil Bezsonov, said at a briefing in Donetsk, the Ukrainian military stationed 122- and 152-mm artillery pieces to the west of Gorlovka.
“According to the data we received from the territory controlled by Ukraine, a large concentration of enemy equipment was recorded in the area of forest near the Kalinovo and Tarasovka settlements,” Bezsonov said.
This not only means the actual breakdown of the truce, but also violates the provisions of the Minsk agreements on the withdrawal line.
On the Ukrainian side, the UAF said that it adhered to the ceasefire, but it had to stop invaders from the Luhansk People’s Republic.
“In the zone of action of tactical force “North”, Russian-led troops launched one attack from automatic grenade launcher and small arms on Ukrainian positions near Luhanske [59km north-east of Donetsk],” the press center of the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) Headquarters reports.
No casualties among Ukrainian troops were reported.
According to Ukrainian intelligence, three “invaders” were killed and another one was injured in an explosive device blast on July 23.
“The invaders” hadn’t violated the ceasefire as of mid-day on July 24th, the Ukrainian side claimed.
The UAF also alleged that ‘Russian snipers’ had arrived in the DPR and were destroying surveillance cameras of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM).
“According to available information, groups of Russian snipers arrived in occupied Donetsk with the task of preparing for and carrying out the elimination of the surveillance cameras that were installed in accordance with the Minsk agreements. This is an additional sign of deceit and of the Russian troops’ disrespect of international agreements,” the JFO report said.
The OSCE SMM, on its part, sent Chair of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s General Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions, Kyriakos Hadjiyianni and former chair Margareta Kiener Nellen to Mariupol on July 22nd.
“No more dead, no more wounded! I urge to strictly respect International Humanitarian Law and to demilitarize all villages,” Kiener Nellen stated.
And, indeed, on July 22nd the OSCE SMM saw less violations of the ceasefire.
Regardless, both sides had weaponry and fortified positions beyond the withdrawal lines and in the security zones, with Ukraine having significantly more.
The UAF somewhat reduced the frequency of their shelling, but traditionally in the last months, it is the UAF which has more weaponry beyond the withdrawal lines and continues shelling civilian infrastructure in the DPR/LPR.
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