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Ceasefire holds overnight in Donetsk

January 09, 14:38 UTC+3 MOSCOW
On December 22 the Contact Group on peaceful settlement of conflict in Donbass agreed at the meeting in Minsk to "fully and unconditionally" observe the ceasefire regime since 12am on December 23
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MOSCOW, January 9. /TASS/. The night was calm in settlements at the contact line in Donbass, and no shellings by Ukrainian forces were registered, local administrations of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said on Saturday.

"Everything is fine, there were no shellings," Donetsk News Agency quoted head of Donetsk’s Petrovsky district Maxim Zhukovsky as saying. Representatives of Kievsky, Kirovsky and Buybyshevsky districts confirmed that no ceasefire violations were registered overnight.

Administrations of Gorlovka and Makeyevka also said that no shellings occurred last night. "Everything is calm, it’s fine," acting mayor of Makeyevka Larisa Tolstykina said.

Heads of Novoazovsky, Starobeshevsky and Telmanovsky districts said the situation remained calm. "The night was calm indeed," head of Starobeshevsky district Ivan Mikhaylov said.

On December 22 the Contact Group on peaceful settlement of conflict in Donbass agreed at the meeting in Minsk to "fully and unconditionally" observe the ceasefire regime since 12am on December 23.

However, over the last weeks DPR defense ministry registered the growing number of shellings near Gorlovka and in Donetsk’s northern and western outskirts. Deputy Chief Monitor of the Special Monitoring Mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Alexander Hug said that Donetsk’s outskirts and Gorlovka remain the "hot spots" on the contact line in Donbass.

The Minsk accords were signed on February 12 last year, after negotiations in the so-called "Normandy format" in the Belarusian capital Minsk, bringing together Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko.

The Minsk accords envisage ceasefire, 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 Ukrainian forces and the self-defense forces of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk republics have repeatedly accused each other of violating ceasefire and other points of the Minsk agreements.

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