Ukrainian troops have pulled more than 70 artillery systems, tanks and munitions-loaded trucks to the line of engagement in Donbass, Eduard Basurin, a spokesman for the defense ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), said on Friday.
“DPR reconnaissance has spotted 11 self-propelled artillery systems, 13 tanks, two armored infantry carriers and six trucks with munitions in the vicinity of the settlements of Krasnogorovka, Maryinka, Peski, Novomikhailovka and Granitnoye,” the Donetsk News Agency quoted him as saying.
He said Ukraine’s seizing settlements in the so-called buffer zone in southern Donbas could be seen as preparation for a new offensive.
“Yesterday, Ukraine’s military political command announced ‘victorious’ seizure of peaceful settlements of Pavlopol and Pishchevik near Mariupol. The seizure of these settlements indicates preparations for resumption of combat operations,” Basurin said.
The Contact Group signed the key package of measures for peaceful settlement in Donbas, known as Minsk-2, on February 12. Under the document, the sides are to withdraw heavy weapons from the contact line, namely artillery systems of 100 mm caliber or more to the distance of at least 50 km, multiple rocket launcher systems (MLRS) to the distance of 70 km and most powerful Tornado-S, Uragan and Smerch MLRS, as well as tactical missile systems Tochka/Tochka U to the distance of 140 km.
In late September, a supplement to the Minsk-2 package was signed withdraw weapons under 100mm calibre to a distance of 15 kilometres for the line of engagement.