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    A damaged building in the village of Spartak in the Donetsk Region, affected by shelling

    Inevitable Punishment: Russia Opens Criminal Cases Over Kiev Killing Civilians

    © Sputnik / Irina Gerashchenko
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    Russia seeks justice over Ukraine's use of prohibited methods of warfare against civilians in Donbass.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia's Investigative Committee has opened new criminal cases over the shelling of Donbass by the Ukrainian army in early May, the committee's spokeswoman, Svetlana Petrenko, said Friday.

    "Russia's Investigative Committee… established new facts of Ukrainian soldiers carrying out artillery shelling of populated areas of the Lugansk and Donetsk regions of Ukraine, as a result of which civilians were killed… Criminal cases were initiated over these facts for a crime provided for by part 1 of Article 356 of the Russian Criminal Code (the use of prohibited means and methods of warfare)," Petrenko said.

    The Donbass conflict erupted in April 2014 as a local counter-reaction to the West-sponsored Maidan coup in Kiev that had toppled President Viktor Yanukovych in February. Residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions held independence referendums and proclaimed the People's Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. Kiev has since been conducting a military operation, encountering stiff local resistance.

    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 Donbass, as well as constitutional reforms that would give a special status to the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics. Despite the agreement brokered by the Normandy Four states (Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine), 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, Russian Investigative Committee, Svetlana Petrenko, Russia, Lugansk, Donbass, Donetsk, Ukraine
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