LPR to complete Stanitsa bridge area demining by August 16

Minsk-2  Military&Defence  Society 

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LUGANSK, August 13 (Lugansk Media Centre) - The Lugansk People’s Republic Emergency Ministry engineers plan to complete the demining of the Stanitsa Luganskaya bridge area by August 16, the Ministry’s press service reported.

“It is planned to finish mine-clearance by August 16; some 25 percent of the territory is left to do,” the report said. “Specialists have examined about one hectare of land, more than 100 pieces of ammunition and explosive hazards have been found and rendered harmless.”

“Bushy terrain complicates the operation,” the LPR Emergencies Ministry said.

The record number of explosives hazards found in a day reached over 20. Engineers often find grenade launcher fragmentation rounds and anti-personnel mines such as the bouncing OZM-72 anti-personnel mine. In certain cases, UXO is blasted at the scene if its transportation is dangerous to people’s life and health, the Ministry said.

The Ministry launched the Stanitsa bridge area mine check on August 1.

Currently there is only one official checkpoint at the line of contact in LPR area of responsibility in Donbass and it is accessible via the bridge in vicinity of Stanitsa Luganskaya. Only pedestrian traffic here is possible thanks to temporary conduit, as the bridge was blown up by Ukrainian forces in early 2015. LPR has been continuously proposing to rebuild it.

Kiev has disrupted the finalising the ICRC bridge restoration project from the very beginning of the discussion demanding that its width be limited in order to prevent the passage of armoured vehicles. The LPR repeatedly pointed out that the Ukrainian demands were ridiculous as the parameters proposed by the Republic (three metres in width and a load capacity of five tons) made military hardware traffic impossible, yet they met the minimum requirements to the passage of ambulances. Ambulance service is needed to a large incidence of people collapsing in queues and regular fatalities. At the Contact Group meeting in Minsk on July 17, Kiev representatives agreed to begin bridge repairs jointly with the LPR.

The LPR Foreign Minister, the Republic’s envoy to the Minsk talks Vladislav Deinego said that the Republic and Ukraine had agreed not to stop the operation of the Stanitsa Luganskaya crossing point for the period of bridge repairs.

The Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements was adopted by the Contact Group on Ukraine on February 12, 2015 and supported by member states of the Normandy Four (Germany, Russia, Ukraine and France). The UN Security Council approved the document by Resolution 2202 and called upon all the sides to ensure full implementation of the Package of Measures.

The document provides for comprehensive ceasefire, withdrawal of all heavy weapons from the contact line, starting a dialog on reconstruction of social and economic ties between Kiev and Donbass. It also envisages carrying out constitutional reform in Ukraine providing for decentralization and adopting permanent legislation on a special status of certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

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