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    Russia Opens Cases Against Ukraine Officers for Shelling Donbass Civilians

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    The four commanders, shoe names have been revealed, shelled civilian infrastructure and population in Donbass in March 2016.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Russian Investigative Committee launched criminal cases against four Ukrainian commanders accused of attacks on the civilian population of Donbass, the committee's spokeswoman said Tuesday.

    "The office investigating crimes involving the use of prohibited means and methods of warfare established the names of the Ukrainian Armed Forces unit commanders who in March 2016 shelled civilian infrastructure and population in southeastern Ukraine in violation of international legal instruments," Svetlana Petrenko said.

    Petrenko identified three commanders of the 72nd, 93rd and 30th mechanized brigades, Col. Andriy Sokolov, Col. Vladislav Klochkov, and Col. Vitaly Yakubov. The commander of the 1st battalion of the 14th mechanized brigade, Lt. Col. Mykhaylo Prokopiv, was named the fourth suspect in the case.

    Kiev launched a military operation in Donbass in April 2014, after local residents refused to recognize the new Ukrainian authorities, which came to power as a result of a West-sponsored coup.

    In February 2015, Kiev forces and Donbass independence supporters signed a peace agreement in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. The deal stipulates a full ceasefire, weapons withdrawal from the line of contact in eastern Ukraine, as well as constitutional reforms that would give a special status to the breakaway Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics.

    Despite the agreement, the ceasefire regime is regularly violated, with both sides accusing each other of multiple breaches, undermining the terms of the accord.


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    Ukrainian crisis, Ukrainian Armed Forces, Russian Investigative Committee, Svetlana Petrenko, Donbass, Ukraine, Russia
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