13 June 2014, 04:17

Jen Psaki 'didn't see' Ukrainian army used phosphorus bombs near Slavyansk

Jen Psaki 'didn't see' Ukrainian army used phosphorus bombs near Slavyansk

During a briefing, State Department spokesman Jen Psaki for the first time heard from journalists that the day before incendiary phosphorous bombs had been used under Slavyansk. Her reaction surprised the journalists.

On June 13, 2014 when asked the question, "what is the opinion of the State Department on the use of phosphorus bombs in Slavyansk?" Jen Psaki said:

-"By whom? By Russians?"

-"By the Ukrainian army", said the journalist.

-"No, I didn't see that", answered Psaki.

On the night between 11th and 12th June, Ukrainian troops fired on the village Semenovka with incendiary bombs, claim militias. This is the first use of such weapons in the Ukrainian conflict. Incendiary bombs are designed to initiate a fire. Materials like white phosphorus are used to make them. When used for military purposes within city areas, the use of weapons containing phosphorus is prohibited, according to international resolutions. This is set down in the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

Ukraine's armed forces launche first ever incendiary raid against Slavyansk suburbs

A village of Semenovka, near Ukraine's eastern restive city of Slavyansk, appears to have been targeted in a fire-bomb attack on Wednesday night, a source at the local self-defense headquarters told RIA Novosti Thursday. "Late on Wednesday, Semenovka came under attack that apparently involved fire bombs. They exploded right above the village and split into smoldering fragments," an eyewitness said.

Fires were reported to flare up all across Semenovka, the eastern suburb of Slavyansk that sits on one of the major roads to the city.

Its unfortunate location has turned the village into a battleground for Ukrainian troops.

The shelling around Slavyansk is said to be continuing, although the incident in Semenovka is the first time that the Ukrainian military has used incendiary bombs against the civil population in the turbulent Donetsk region.

Slavyansk is close to the region's capital Donetsk, a flashpoint city that became the capital of the recently proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR).

Violence in southeastern Ukraine has been on the rise since the beginning of a punitive operation launched by Kiev authorities in mid-April, and has claimed hundreds of casualties.

The operation came after the People's Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk declared themselves independent following a May 11 referendum, and started forming governments and law enforcement agencies.

Military activities were halted during the May 25 presidential elections, only to resume on May 26.

Artillery and aviation have struck civilian sites, and many peaceful residents have become victims of the conflict.

Moscow has repeatedly called on Kiev to stop its military operation and start a direct dialogue with independence supporters.

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