Donetsk, May 31 - DAN. Ukrainian forces fired mortars at an OSCE Special Monitoring Mission patrol in the vicinity of the Petrovskoye village outside Dokuchayevsk, the DPR Operations Command said on Thursday.

“Ukrainian army units have again opened fire with mortars at international monitors, this time in the Petrovskoye village area,” it said adding that the incident occurred on May 30.

The Petrovskoye village was the first in the Donetsk People’s Republic where the parties carried out de-facto disengagement of forces and hardware in the autumn of 2016. More disengagement zones had to be created in other areas and later on along the whole contact line.

On May 16, 2018, the DPR Mission to the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination (JCCC) stated that Ukraine had violated the agreement on withdrawing its forces and hardware from the Petrovskoye area. In this connection, Donetsk demanded that Kiev pull back its armed forces and hardware, otherwise the DPR would return its servicemen to the positions where they had been deployed before the disengagement.

The Contact Group Participants signed the framework agreement on disengagement of forces on September 21-23, 2016. The document set three disengagement areas: Petrovskoye in the DPR and Stanitsa Luganskaya and Zolotoye in the LPR. Each withdrawal area measures at least 2 kilometres wide and 2 kilometres deep. In the Zolotoye area, the conflicting parties’ units were initially disengaged on October 1 (the accords were repeatedly violated later) and in the Petrovskoye area on October 7. In Stanitsa Luganskaya, the disengagement never took place.*jk