Comment by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding civilian casualties in the East of Ukraine

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The Ukrainian leaders continue to affirm that when the Ukrainian forces conduct the so-called counter-terrorism operation, which is in fact a punitive operation in the Donetsk and Lugansk Regions, they refrain from using force against civilians and that they never shoot at residential neighbourhoods.

However, the real facts show evidence to the contrary. Regular shooting in cities and populated areas by units of Ukrainian armed forced, the “national guard”, different territorial bandit formations, including the “Right Sector”, resulted in many casualties among civilians.

In this regard, let us recall the criminal air strike on the 2 June by Ukrainian Air Forces on the building of the Lugansk regional administration, which killed 8 people and injured 28.

A few other examples are: on the 13 June, the artillery firing at the suburbs of Slavyansk, Cherevkovka and Khimik injured over 10 civilians. A 15 year old girl died in Cherekovka. The VGTRK special correspondent Igor Kornelyuk and the sound engineer Anton Voloshin died as a result of mortaring by Ukrainian forces at the Mirny village near Lugansk on the 17 June. Igor Kornelyuk was mortally wounded and died in a hospital. Anton Voloshin died at the scene on the same day, in Vostochny village (suburb of Slavyansk) 3 civilians were killed by the multi-launch system Uragan. On the 19 June 2014, the Cathedral of the Ascension in Slavyansk was subjected to shooting by Ukrainian forces and the beadle was killed. On the 29 June, the operator of the “Pervyi kanal”, Anatoly Klyan, received a severe injury as a result of shooting by Ukrainian forces in the Donetsk Region.

Unfortunately, in the first hours following the rejection by the officials in Kiev for a cease-fire on the 30 June, the number of victims among civilians grew.

During the entire night and in the morning of the 1 July heavy artillery continued to shell peaceful cities and populated areas. In Kramatorsk, Donetsk Region, a scheduled public mini-bus was shot at by Ukrainian forces. 4 persons died and 5 were wounded.

This is the truth. They cannot hide it. They will have to pay for the crimes against civilians.

We request from the Ukrainian authorities to stop the practice of shooting at peaceful cities and villages within their state and to return to a real rather than an artificial cease fire to save human lives.