Thursday, January 29, 2015

PACE refuses to recognize LPR, DPR as "terrorist organizations"

PACE refuses to recognize LPR, DPR as "terrorist organizations"

STRASBOURG, January 28. /TASS/. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on Wednesday refused to recognize the self-proclaimed Lugansk and Donetsk People’s republics (LPR and DPR) in eastern Ukraine as "terrorist organizations."

The Assembly today rejected the Ukrainian delegation’s amendment to the resolution on the Russian delegation’s powers.

Ukrainian Irina Gerashchenko suggested including in its text provisions that the LPR and DPR "are de facto terrorist organizations supported by the Russian Federation."

But the PACE Monitoring Committee spoke against the move. The Assembly's majority agreed with the committee. The LPR and DPR are not on the international list of terrorist organizations, it was announced at the session.

Over 4,000 people have lost their lives and hundreds of thousands have fled Ukraine’s southeast as a result of clashes between Ukrainian troops and local militias in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions during Kiev’s military operation, conducted since mid-April 2014, to regain control over parts of the breakaway territories, which call themselves the Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk People's Republic, according to UN data.

A ceasefire was agreed upon at talks between the parties to the Ukrainian conflict mediated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on September 5, 2014 in Belarusian capital Minsk two days after Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed his plan to settle the situation in the east of Ukraine.

Numerous violations of the ceasefire, which took effect the same day, have been reported since.

A memorandum was adopted on September 19, 2014 in Minsk by the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine comprising representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE. The document outlined the parameters for the implementation of commitments on the ceasefire in Ukraine laid down in the Minsk Protocol of September 5, 2014.

The nine-point memorandum in particular envisioned a ban on the use of all armaments and withdrawal of weapons with the calibers of over 100 millimeters to a distance of 15 kilometers from the contact line from each side. The OSCE was tasked with controlling the implementation of memorandum provisions.

A "day of silence" in eastern Ukraine began at 09:00 a.m. local time (0700 GMT) on December 9, 2014. It was seen as another attempt by both parties to the intra-Ukrainian conflict to put an end to hostilities. Both Kiev and the self-proclaimed republics voiced the necessity to start withdrawal of heavy armaments, swap prisoners and demilitarize the region.

The situation in the region deteriorated when a passenger bus bound from Donetsk to Zlatoustovka was shelled on January 13, 2015. Twelve civilians were killed and 16 wounded.

The positions of Russia and Western nations and Kiev on the Ukrainian developments differ radically. Russia has repeatedly denied any involvement in the intra-Ukrainian crisis, but the West and Kiev keep accusing Moscow of "annexing" Crimea and participation in clashes in Ukraine’s war-torn southeast.

The aftermath of shelling in Donetsk
On December 17 and 18 Ukrainian troops tried to reconquer the Donetsk airport. Photo: Smoke rises over the new terminal of Donetsk airport in Eastern Ukraine, 15 January, 2015

Photo: An area near the Donetsk airport where fighting continued between the Ukrainian government's troops and soldiers of the Donetsk People's Republic

Photo: Damage inside a branch of the Metro chain of supermarkets near the Donetsk airport

Photo: Damaged Putilovsky Bridge near the Donetsk airport

The Defense Ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic has recorded 56 shelling attacks on populated localities and people’s militia positions in eastern Ukraine launched by Kiev’s security forces over the past 24 hours

Photo: Women sit in a shelter during an exchange of artillery fire between DNR forces and the Ukrainian army in Donetsk

One of shells fired by Ukrainian forces hit a hospital in Donetsk. A doctor was wounded

The blast broke windows on the fourth and fifth floors and damaged the heat system in the building. Photo: A man at a hospital in Donetsk damaged during a shelling attack

 Photo gallery by TASS.

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