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    Putin Tells Merkel Further Shelling of Civilians in Eastern Ukraine Must Be Prevented

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    Speaking with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed the need to exclude the opportunity for the Ukrainian government forces to shell civilians in the country's eastern regions, Kremlin said in a press release Thursday.

    Updated 02:02 a.m. Moscow Time

    MOSCOW, October 2 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed the need to exclude the opportunity for the Ukrainian government forces to shell civilians in the country's eastern regions, speaking with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Kremlin said in a press release Thursday.

    "V.V. [Vladimir Vladimirovich] Putin has emphasized the need for further prevention of shelling of civilian objects by the Ukrainian [military] units in southeastern Ukraine," the statement reads.

    According to the press release, Russian and German leaders also agreed on the importance of sticking to the agreements, reached during the meetings of the Contact Group on Ukraine in Minsk; first and foremost, on the clauses concerning the withdrawal of heavy weapons and the monitoring of the situation by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

    On Wednesday, the authorities of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic said the shelling of a school and a public transport stop in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk had killed 11. A representative for a local hospital has told RIA Novosti some 40 had been wounded in the artillery fire. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the shelling.

    The stand-off between the Ukrainian government and pro-independence forces of southeastern Ukraine has killed over 3,200 since Kiev launched a military operation in April. The sides agreed on a ceasefire at a meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine held in Minsk on September 5. Another meeting of the group resulted in a memorandum, specifying implementation of a ceasefire, which involves the creation of a 30-kilometer [18-mile] buffer zone, withdrawal of all heave weapons from residential areas and the deployment of the OSCE monitoring mission.

    Tags:
    Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel, civilians, shelling
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