: Militant-held Donbas parades banned weapons on Victory Day

16:06 May. 9, 2016

Militant-held Donbas parades banned weapons on Victory Day

Pro Russian separatists march down the street during a Victory Day parade in the eastern Ukraine city of Donetsk (Getty Images)

Military parades with transporting heavy weapons near the line of contact contradict Minsk deal, OSCE says

On May 9, the militant-occupied Donetsk held a Victory Day military parade which showcased weapons forbidden under the Minsk agreements, Ukrainian media report.

Armed militants of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic marched down the city's centre, followed by military equipment including modern devices and WWII items which were restored.

In total, the parade featured 45 units of military equipment, including tanks, howitzers, armoured personnel carriers, light armoured multipurpose tracked tractors, and Grad multiple rocket launchers. 


 Donetsk People's Republic forces parade in Donetsk during a rehearsal for the Victory Day celebrations on May 7 in Donetsk, Ukraine (Getty Images)

The military parade was followed by the campaign 'Immortal Regiment' - a few thousand people took to the street with portraits of soldiers who were killed during the World War II.

Read also Russia is increasing its military presence in Luhansk region - Ukraine's officials

The militant-held Luhansk also held a military parade featuring the banned weapons as well as the 'Immortal Regiment' event.

Earlier, the OSCE monitors said that arranging military parades in Donetsk and Luhansk - namely, transporting heavy weapons near the line of contact - would contradict the Minsk agreements.

Read also Ukraine marks 71st anniversary of Victory over Nazi Germany in WWII

The Donbas May 9 parade was prepared by a Kremlin's military regiment. According to Ukrainian intelligence services, military officers from the Russian Presidential Regiment of the Moscow Kremlin Commandant's Service earlier arrived in the separatist-occupied Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

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