Donetsk, Nov 17 – DAN. Ukrainian forces strengthened their positions near the contact line in Donbass with Grad multiple launch rocket systems, self-propelled howitzers and mortars, DPR Operations Command deputy commander Eduard Basurin told a news briefing at Donetsk News Agency on Thursday citing intelligence reports.

“Our intelligence keeps recording the reinforcement of Ukrainian forces’ positions near the contact line,” Basurin said.

“Two 152 mm Giatsint howitzers were spotted in Artyomovka area (ten kilometres from the contact line) and five 120mm mortar firing positions were revealed in Vodyanoye on south axis (one kilometre from the contact line) and Starognatovka outside Volnovakha (three kilometres from the contact line),” he said. “Six Grad MLRS were spotted arriving in Mariupol area, one kilometre from the contact line.”

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 Addendum 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. Despite the agreement, Ukraine regularly shells DPR areas using the above weapons.