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OSCE mission confirms violation of humanitarian law by Ukrainian troops in LPR, Lugansk says

The situation in Donbass remains tense, with Ukrainian forces shelling the territories of DPR and LPR, prompting evacuations of people to Russia.

The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) mission in Donbass has confirmed that Ukrainian militants violated international humanitarian law by shelling residential buildings in the region, according to the Lugansk People’s Republic Militia.

“In its report dated 21 February 2022, the OSCE Mission confirmed the violation of international humanitarian law by Ukrainian militants and recorded damage to residential buildings, as well as heavy damage to the production premises of an oil workshop, which were caused by a shelling of the settlement of Nikolaevka with 122 mm artillery pieces”, the LPR militia stated.

In the meantime, the mission also confirmed a total of 2,158 ceasefire violations in the DPR from 18 to 20 February.

“In the Donetsk region, between the evenings of 18 and 20 February, the SMM recorded 2,158 ceasefire violations, including 1,100 explosions. In the previous reporting period, it recorded 591 ceasefire violations in the region”, the Special Monitoring Mission said.

The situation in Donbass remains tense, with the DPR and LPR conducting mass evacuations of the civilian population due to frequent attacks by Ukrainian forces. Following a recent appeal by the leaders of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, Russia recognised both as independent states. Moscow ordered to deploy a peacekeeping mission in Donbass to stop the conflict and urged Kiev to “immediately stop hostilities” in the region.

DPR militiamen on demarcation line
© Sputnik / Genady Dubovoy
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The conflict started back in 2014 after a coup d’etat in Kiev triggered mass protests in Donetsk, Lugansk and other Ukrainian cities. The new government decided to quell any opposition with military force, which resulted in Donetsk and Lugansk proclaiming their independence from Kiev. In response, the Ukrainian authorities launched a military operation against Donbass.

In total, the conflict in Donbass claimed at least 13,000 lives, while thousands more were wounded. Around 2.5 million of the region’s residents were forced to flee their homes, with over a million seeking refuge in Russia.

Source: Sputnik