According to SMM Principal Deputy Chief Monitor Alexander Hug, the areas to the north and northwest of the Kiev-controlled city of Mariupol have become again conflict "hot spots," where banned weaponry, including multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS), is being used.
"Three more criminal cases have been opened by the Main Investigation Department of the Investigative Committee over a crime provided for by Part 1 of Article 356 of the Russian Criminal Code (use of prohibited means and methods of warfare)," committee spokeswoman Svetlana Petrenko said.
Kiev launched a special military operation in Ukraine’s southeast in April 2014, after local residents refused to recognize the new Ukrainian authorities, which came to power as a result of a coup.
In February 2015, a peace agreement was signed between Ukraine’s conflicting sides in Minsk after talks brokered by the leaders of Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine — the so-called Normandy Format. Despite the ceasefire deal, sporadic fighting has continued in Donbass.