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Summer offensive in Donbass? Kiev deploying banned weaponry, equipment at contact line

Ukrainian security forces continue to place weapons and military equipment along the contact line in Donbass, which is prohibited by the Minsk agreements, Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) militia spokesman Andrei Marochko said Saturday.

LUGANSK (Sputnik)

LPR spokesman Andrei Marochko added:

“The Ukrainian side continues to violate the Minsk agreements in respect of the placement of banned weapons. So, in the area of Novotoshkivske settlement, the enemy has placed positions of two mortar batteries, as well as a caponier with an infantry fighting vehicle of the 58th brigade of the Ukrainian forces.”

He stressed that the deployment of the banned weapons near the line of contact by the Ukrainian side was continuously recorded in reports by Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Special Monitoring Mission (OSCE SMM) international observers.

READ MORE: Russia warns US over arms supplies to Ukraine

Marochko note:

“On August 17, an SMM unmanned aerial vehicle found three 122mm self-propelled howitzers 2S1 Gvozdika, deployed on the northwestern outskirts of Stanytsia Luhanska in violation of the relevant withdrawal lines.”

The military conflict in Ukraine erupted in 2014 after the self-proclaimed east Ukrainian republics refused to recognize the new Ukrainian government that came to power in what they perceived to be a coup. The ceasefire agreement was reached in Minsk in 2015, brokered by the leaders of the Normandy Four group, but the situation has remained tense.

READ MORE: Ukrainian President Poroshenko to meet James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis on August 24

On June 21, a trilateral contact group, composed of Russian, Ukrainian and OSCE mediators, agreed to impose a ceasefire in Ukraine’s eastern regions during the summer harvest, which would last from June 24 to August 31. However, the ceasefire failed to hold with both sides of the conflict continuing to blame each other of violations.

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