03:51 GMT26 January 2020
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    A court in Russia’s Rostov region authorized on Friday the arrest of five Ukrainian servicemen who had been detained on suspicion of crimes against the civilian population in eastern Ukraine.

    MOSCOW, August 8 (RIA Novosti) — A court in Russia’s Rostov region authorized on Friday the arrest of five Ukrainian servicemen who had been detained on suspicion of crimes against the civilian population in eastern Ukraine.

    "The court has ruled to arrest all five servicemen until October 7," a spokesperson for the Rostov regional court told RIA Novosti.

    The Russian Investigative Committee said earlier on Friday that five commanding officers from Ukraine’s 72nd Guards Mechanized Brigade are suspected of involvement in phosphorus bomb attacks against civilians in Donetsk Region and the shelling of the Russian territory.

    Those detained are: Commander of the First Battalion Ivan Voytenko, his deputy Major Vitaly Dubinyak, Tank Battalion Commander Alexander Polyakov, Executive Officer Alexander Orkhimenko and Squadron Commander Dmitry Ustilko.

    The investigators say the brigade shelled the towns of Krasnopartizansk and Krasnodon in Luhansk Region between July 19 and August 3, using indiscriminate heavy offensive weapons under Voytenko’s command. The attack left 10 civilians injured and destroyed about 20 homes and infrastructure facilities.

    Other servicemen from the division confirmed the information.

    Russian investigators are probing the detained on their involvement in phosphorus bomb attacks against civilians in Donetsk Region and the shelling of Russian territory, a spokesman for the Russian Investigative Committee Vladimir Markin said earlier in the day.

    Russia has documented multiple cases of war crimes in Ukraine since the start of the conflict in mid-April, when Kiev launched a military crackdown on independence supporters in eastern parts of the country. Fighting between the government forces and militia fighters has not stopped for months, even during an official ceasefire.

    The conflict has claimed the lives of at least 1,367 people, according to the United Nations.

    Moscow has repeatedly condemned Kiev’s «war against own people» and urged an immediate stop to the punitive operation, advocating a peaceful resolution to the crisis.

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