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2 People Killed by Kiev Shells in Rebel East Ukraine

One rebel soldier and one civilian. A forgotten conflict but people still dying intermittently

MOSCOW, January 25. /TASS/. Two people were killed and four more injured over the last week in the shellings by Ukrainian forces of the territory of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), DPR defense ministry spokesman told a briefing on Monday.

"As a result of shellings, one DPR serviceman died, two were injured. One civilian was killed and two more were injured," Donetsk News Agency quoted Basurin as saying.

Basurin added that two civilians were injured when Ukrainian forces shelled the settlement of Zaytsevo to the north of Gorlovka. "OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] representatives were addressed with a request to come to the scene to collect information, question eyewitnesses. They refused to do this saying they have other plans," the DPR defense ministry spokesman noted.

Ten residential houses were destroyed by shellings in DPR over the last week, Basurin added.

The spokesman said earlier that Ukrainian Armed Forces opened fire at DPR territory over 160 times over the last week, including from weaponry prohibited by the Minsk Agreements.

At the meeting of the Contact Group in Minsk on 13 January 2016 the two sides agreed to exchange more than 50 prisoners. OSCE Special Representative for Ukraine Martin Sajdik expressed hope that prisoner exchange will be held before January 20 when the Contact Group is set to hold another meeting.

Minsk agreements on Ukraine

The Minsk accords were signed on 12 February 2015, 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 Petro 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 Luhansk republics have repeatedly accused each other of violating ceasefire and other points of the Minsk agreements.

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