Donetsk, Sep 5 - DAN. Kiev authorities have done nothing to settle the Donbass conflict over the five years since the signing of the Minsk Agreements, Donetsk Republic parliament faction leader Valery Skorokhodov told the Donetsk News Agency on Thursday.

The Minsk Protocol on the Donbass ceasefire was adopted precisely five years ago, on September 5, 2014. “The main purpose of signing the Minsk Agreements was to secure a ceasefire. The murder of Donbass civilians had to be stopped,” Skorokhodov said.  “The Agreements include a package of measures to settle the Donbass conflict; however Ukraine has done nothing over the past five years to stop the civil war. On the contrary, Kiev is stepping up its militant rhetoric against the People’s Republics and their residents.”

He noted that the intensity of strikes had decreased by several times compared with 2014 - 2015. However, Ukrainian forces continue to shell frontline settlements. Also, Ukrainian secret services have not stopped the persecution of citizens for their political views, while pensioners cannot get the retirement benefits they have earned.

“Over these five long years, Donbass has learnt to live without Ukraine. We have our own laws, our People’s Militia protects us. We speak Russian and have no intension to supress other peoples who live next to us. We cherish the memory of our ancestors who defended Donbass in World War II and do not wish to fete the fighters for mythical independence who are promoted by Ukraine,” the deputy said.

The Agreements dated September 5 and 19, 2014 and February 12, 2015 forged by the Contact Group in Minsk make groundwork for a peaceful settlement of the Donbass conflict. The Contact Group set forth a peace plan and agreed a ceasefire, then adopted the Memorandum on ceasefire implementation and later on the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements. It envisioned immediate and comprehensive ceasefire in Donbass starting February 15, 2015, withdrawal of heavy weapons, establishment of security zones, discussion of the modalities for the resumption of payment of pensions and allowances to DPR and LPR citizens, and constitutional reform in Ukraine which should result in deep decentralisation.*jk