On Thursday, Russia began a special operation to demilitarise Ukraine, responding to calls from the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics for help in countering the aggression of Ukrainian forces.
RIA Novosti, Zvezda and TVC journalists came under fire from Ukrainian forces in the south of the DPR in the village of Pishchevik (about 20 kilometres from Mariupol); nobody was injured, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported.
The fire raid occurred at 14:32. At least 10 missiles were fired. The journalists managed to leave the territory and get out of the impact zone.
A Ukrainian UAV was spotted in the sky after Russian journalists were shelled in the DPR, the correspondent added.
On 21 February, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed decrees recognizing the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR), which had declared their independence from Kiev back in 2014, and early on the morning of 24 February, Russia launched a military operation to demilitarise Ukraine. In a televised address to citizens, Vladimir Putin said that circumstances “require decisive and immediate action”, as the Donbass republics had asked for help.
In turn, the Russian Defence Ministry said that the Russian Armed Forces hadn’t launched any strikes on the cities of Ukraine: the military infrastructure was disabled by high-precision means. The civilian population was not in danger, the ministry added. Moscow has repeatedly said that it has no plans to occupy Ukrainian territory.
At the same time, DPR and LPR forces launched a counteroffensive against the Ukrainian troops in Donbass.
In the past weeks, the situation along the line of contact has significantly deteriorated as Ukrainian forces have intensified the shelling of Donbass.