Donetsk, Jan 20 – DAN. Ukrainian forces shelled Donetsk People’s Republic almost six thousand times over the past week, the situation remains tense, a DPR defense official said.

“The number of strikes amounted to 5,956, a 1.5 thousand more than the previous week. Artillery, tanks and mortars were used to shell the Republic in 1,976 cases, 26 households were damaged” DPR Operations Command deputy commander Colonel Eduard Basurin told a news briefing at the Donetsk News Agency on Friday.

Basurin said that 26 towns and villages were hit this week, Dokuchaevsk area and southern DPR territories came under the most intense artillery fire.

DPR intelligence reported a MLRS Grad battalion, up to APC company, up to IFV platoon on Gorlovka axis; 120mm mortar battery and a battalion of personnel were located on Donetsk axis; tank platoon a two battalions were spotted on Mariupol axis.

Earlier reports said that Donetsk northern neighborhood where the Volvo Center is situated had come under MLRS Grad fire from Kiev-occupied Avdeyevka direction.

DPR intelligence reports Kiev’s regular deployment of military equipment to the conflict zone. Under The Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements signed by the Contact Group on February 12, 2015, the sides have to withdraw their artillery systems of 100 mm calibre or more to a distance of 50 kilometres apart from each other, multiple launch rocket systems Tornado, Uragan and Smerch to a distance of 70 kilometres and Tactical Missile Systems Tochka to a distance of 140 kilometres. The follow-up to the Minsk Agreements signed in September provides for the parties’ withdrawal of their artillery systems of a calibre less than 100 mm, as well as tanks and mortars. *ot