Nationalistic fighters continue fire on Lugansk republic
The Ukrainian military for the past 24 hours again opened fire on positions of the militia in the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR). They opened fire on the Kalinovka settlement from grenade launchers and small arms. Besides, under fire were the Lozovoye and Molodezhnoye settlement. “No casualties,” the militia said on Sunday. The military and militia of the republics in Donbass have agreed several times a ceasefire regime in the conflict zone, but OSCE monitors are still fixing fire exchanges. At the meeting of the Contact Group on January 13 the sides supported the initiative of Russia’s envoy Boris Gryzlov on ensuring complete ceasefire on the territory of Donbass. Ceasefire is envisaged by the Minsk accords signed on 12 February 2015, after negotiations in the so-called “Normandy format” in the Belarusian capital Minsk, bringing together leaders of Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine. The package of measures also envisages weaponry withdrawal, prisoner exchange, local election in Donbass, constitutional reform in Ukraine and establishing working sub-groups on security, political, economy and humanitarian components of the Minsk accords. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, said in a comment on the 13th report on Ukraine, the document shows that “the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine remains tenuous, with reported violations of the ceasefire, the continued occurrences of indiscriminate shelling and the presence of anti-personnel mines and remnants of war. Between 16 November 2015 and 15 February 2016, 78 conflict-related civilian casualties were recorded in eastern Ukraine, bringing the estimated casualty figures since the beginning of the conflict to more than 30,000 people, including at least 9,160 killed and 21,000 injured (figures include civilians as well as Ukrainian armed forces, and members of armed groups). “The implementation of the Minsk Agreements is the only viable strategy for achieving a peaceful solution in certain areas of eastern Ukraine controlled by armed groups, which, in turn, is key for resolving the human rights crisis in Ukraine. This includes the restoration of effective control by the Government of Ukraine over the border with the Russian Federation and the withdrawal of foreign fighters, mercenaries and military equipment,” the commissioner said.