Updated 11:44 a.m. Moscow Time
MOSCOW, October 2 (RIA Novosti) – Russia's Investigative Committee has launched a criminal case against Ukraine's defense minister and the head of the country's General Staff, committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said Thursday.
"Russia's Investigative Committee has launched a criminal case against Ukrainian Defense Minister Valeriy Heletei, Ukrainian Chief of General Staff Viktor Muzhenko, Commander of the 25th Brigade of Ukraine's Armed Forces Oleh Mykasa, as well as other so far unidentified individuals among commanders of the 93rd Brigade and a number of highly-ranked officials from Ukraine's military leadership," Markin said.
The listed individuals are accused of murder and use of prohibited means and methods of warfare and genocide in eastern Ukraine.
According to the investigation, Muzhenko, Mykasa and commanders of the 93rd Brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces from September 3 to 5 were giving orders to destroy completely Russian-speaking population of the Luhansk and Donetsk people's republics.
The Investigative Committee said that Grad and Uragan multiple launch rocket systems, Tochka missile systems, and other weapons were used during the attacks on Luhansk, Donetsk, Slaviansk, and Kramatorsk that claimed the lives of at least 2,500 people. According to the UN human rights the number of those killed in the conflict has climbed to 3,500 including the victims of the MH17 crash.
Since mid-April, the eastern regions of Ukraine have been a battlefield for the Kiev forces and independence supporters. On September 5, the warring sides agreed to a ceasefire, later adopting a memorandum specifying particular steps for the truce implementation. Despite the accusations from both sides of the ceasefire regime violation, the truce was said to be generally holding.