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Donetsk separatists step up military activity after nearly 1,500 Ukrainian mines discovered

THE Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) has stepped up military activity along the contact line in eastern Ukraine as Kiev’s forces continue to escalate hostilities in breach of a 2016 ceasefire agreement.

On Thursday, it was revealed that more than 1,400 anti-tank mines had been discovered west of the city of Gorlovka

DPR People’s Militia deputy commander Eduard Basurin said: “We continue to record the mining of public roads.

“We have information that [the Ukrainian army’s] 58th Brigade has planted 900 anti-tank mines on a strip of land alongside the road in the Novgorodskoye settlement.

“The 54th Brigade has planted more than 500 anti-tank mines in Troitskoye village farmland.”

Under a March 2016 deal, all parties committed to a Donbass ceasefire and resolution of the conflict, including the clearing of mines and mapping and fencing off of dangerous areas in the region.

But the DPR has accused Ukraine of repeatedly violating the ceasefire by shelling civilian areas.

Gas pipes and a power line were damaged in the Ukrainian shelling of a village outside of Yasinovataya yesterday as civilian buildings and infrastructure continue to be targeted.

DPR officials warned last month of an unfolding humanitarian crisis, noting that the water supply for at least 1,500 people in Elenkova and Molodyezhoyne has been cut off after Ukrainian shellfire damaged pipes.

They said that such actions constituted war crimes and accused the Ukrainian armed forces of attempting genocide.

Kiev’s military has continued to attack towns and villages along the demarcation line, with at least 250 such assaults recorded by the DPR since the beginning of May.

Donetsk authorities confirmed that militia units had been deployed to battle areas “ready to repulse a Ukrainian offensive.”

The DPR declared independence from Ukraine in 2014, with armed conflict erupting after that year’s Euromaidan coup ousted then president Viktor Yanukovych.

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