Russian-backed forces in Donbas amassing heavy military hardware along contact line

14:40, 12 May 2019
War
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REUTERS

Russian-supported armed formations are amassing in certain locations in the Donbas warzone dozens of tanks, howitzers, and anti-aircraft missile systems in violation of the agreement withdrawal lines and permanent storage sites, according to the Joint Center for Ceasefire Control and Coordination and Contact Line Stabilization (JCCC).

In a statement published on the Facebook page of the Joint Forces Operation, the JCCC recalls an earlier report by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission of May 4 where the monitors say the Mission's UAV spotted 14 multiple rocket launchers at the so-called testing ground near the settlement of Miusinsk.

SMM observers also revealed weapons deployed beyond the withdrawal lines, but outside the designated storage areas in non-Ukraine-controlled areas. In particular, they spotted 12 tanks at a training range near Shymshynivka; 12 tanks, seven self-propelled howitzers, and 13 towed howitzers, as well as three anti-aircraft missile systems at the testing ground near Miusinsk; and 24 tanks at a testing ground outside Kruhlyk.

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Besides, on May 7, international observers spotted at least five T-72 tanks at the training site near the village of Pokrovka east of Donetsk.

"The Ukrainian side to the JCCC notes that Russia's armed formations are once again demonstrating a persistent reluctance to comply with the Minsk agreements, openly ignoring the commitments made within the Trilateral Contact group to withdraw heavy weaponry away from the line of demarcation," the statement says.

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