- Sputnik International, 1920, 25.02.2022
Situation in Ukraine
On 24 February, Russia launched a special military operation amid Kiev's ongoing shelling of the DPR and LPR. President Vladimir Putin stated that the op is meant to protect the people of Donbass, and its goal is the complete demilitarisation and denazification of Ukraine.

Photos of Ukrainian Military Posing With UK Weapons at Kindergarten Emerge Online

© Sputnik / Stringer / Go to the photo bankUkraine's National Guard soldiers undergo NATO combat training
Ukraine's National Guard soldiers undergo NATO combat training - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.03.2022
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Soldiers from the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics regularly report that Ukrainian militant formations are using human shield tactics by deploying offensive weapons in civilian buildings in order to provoke response fire from the Russian servicemen.
Social media have been circulating reports, which appeared on Monday, claiming that two soldiers were “posing with British weapons” in what was said to be a kindergarten. According to the photos, the men are wearing Ukrainian uniforms and standing in front of a wall decorated with painted cartoons.
One of the depicted weapons appears to be a Javelin, a British man-portable surface-to-air missile formerly used by the British and Canadian armies. The other is presumably a modified M240 gas-operated medium machine gun, used by the United States Armed Forces.
Previously, numerous reports have said that the Armed Forces of Ukraine are placing their combat positions in civilian facilities, such as hospitals and schools. According to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, “multiple rocket launchers, guns, large-caliber mortars are placed in the courtyards of residential buildings, near schools and kindergartens.”
He added that the Russian army is taking all measures to protect civilians, hitting only military targets and using high-precision weapons.
In addition to that, none of the humanitarian corridors for civilians evacuating from cities where fighting is active have been fully operational, despite the agreements reached during the previous round of talks with Ukraine, according to Russian chief negotiator Vladimir Medinsky.
“The Russian side was ready to open these corridors immediately the next day,” he noted, stressing that the ceasefire was also on at that time. “Unfortunately, almost none of them fully worked.”
The implementation of the cease fire was hampered by nationalist groups that are also engaged in combat in certain areas, but do not follow orders from Kiev, according to Medinsky.
“Nationalists who have seized positions in cities continue to hold civilians there, using them indirectly and directly as human shields. This is, of course, a war crime that will be investigated accordingly,” he said.
Earlier on Monday, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said that on Sunday in Mariupol, DPR servicemen clashed with armed detachments of Ukrainian who drove more than 150 civilians ahead of them, “hiding behind them as a human shield.”
“After discovering the DPR fighters, the Ukrainian nationalists opened fire on them from behind the backs of civilians. As a result of the firing by the Ukrainian Nazis, 4 civilians were killed and 5 wounded. The fighters of the DPR People's Militia took the freed civilians through the Vinogradnoye district from Mariupol to territory under their control,” he said.
Ahead of the Monday negotiations, Medinsky said the Russian side would continue insisting on compliance with agreements concerning the humanitarian corridors and ceasefire. After the negotiations, concluded late on the same day, Ukrainian negotiator Mikhail Podolyak confirmed that “there are small positive developments in improving the logistics of humanitarian corridors.”
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