Ukraine is shelling Luhansk, Russian separatists say

Fighters from the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) maintain combat positions on the line of separation from the Ukrainian armed forces in Luhansk Oblast, Ukraine. Photo: Reuters

Kiev troops fired four times this morning on the territory of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) in eastern Ukraine, including with mortars banned by the Minsk agreements to resolve the separatist conflict.

This was stated by the mission of the People’s Republic of China in the Joint Center for Control and Coordination of the Ceasefire Regime.

According to a mission officer, Kiev forces used 120- and 82-millimeter mortars, as well as grenade launchers and large-caliber machine guns.

Ukrainian security forces have shelled four settlements controlled by the republic. The shelling took place at 5:30 Moscow time. Sokolniki, Zolote-5, Veselenkoye and Nizhne Lozovoye came under fire.

The situation along the lines of contact has significantly deteriorated over the past day, RIA Novosti reported, citing the People’s Militia of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR).

“For the last 24 hours, the situation has significantly worsened. The enemy, under the direct instructions of the military-political leadership of Kiev, is trying to escalate the conflict,” said Yan Leshchenko, head of the People’s Militia Department of the People’s Republic of China.

He called on international observers to record the facts of shelling in the territory of the republic by the armed forces of Ukraine.

Nearly 10 Russian military convoys of large, heavy and dangerous cargo have left Crimea after maneuvers. This was announced to journalists by the press service of the Southern Military District of Russia, RIA Novosti reported. It is not specified where the columns went.

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Moscow said this week that after military exercises in areas near the border with Ukraine, it is partially withdrawing its troops back to the garrisons, BTA reported.

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