Ukrainian armed forces and separatists report shelling in Donbass region
Ukrainian armed forces and separatists controlling parts of eastern Ukraine spoke of renewed shelling in the region on Thursday morning.
Video and footage confirmed by CNN shows a kindergarten in Ukrainian-held territory was hit by a shell on Thursday.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine said that “Russian occupation troops shelled the settlement of Stanytsia Luhanska”.
As a result of the use of heavy artillery weapons by terrorists, the shells hit the kindergarten. According to preliminary data, two civilians were injured.”
In a statement on Twitter, Dmytro Kuleba, Ukrainian Foreign Minister, said that the village of Stanytsia Luhanska “was shelled with heavy weapons from the occupied territory of Donbass. Civilian infrastructure was damaged. We call on all partners to quickly condemn this serious violation of Minsk agreements concluded by Russia in an already tense security context.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday that reports of the shelling were a matter of “very, very great concern”, but added that there were no plans to discuss the issue. with the Ukrainian government.
“We have repeatedly warned that the excessive concentration of Ukrainian armed forces near the contact lines, combined with possible provocations, could pose a terrible threat,” Peskov said.
“We now see that these provocations are taking place, we see reports from representatives of the [separatists] republics that there is an exchange of blows on the lines of contact, and that the first blow came from Ukraine, it is alarming. We hope that our adversaries in Western capitals, the United States and NATO countries will use all their influence to warn the authorities in Kyiv of further escalation,” he added.
CNN has established that the school is less than five kilometers (about three miles) from what is called the line of contact, which separates the two sides. CNN has not established who initiated the shootout.
Pro-Russian separatists said different residential areas were targeted by Ukrainian army fire near Donetsk and Luhansk.
CNN reached out to a resident of Mariinka near Donetsk who posted a video that included the sound of loud explosions early Thursday.
She told CNN the worst time was between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. local time. She said people were staying indoors.
Violations of the ceasefire agreement in the region occur regularly, sometimes involving the use of heavy weapons.
Correction: An earlier version of this post included the wrong distance between the school and the front lines. The school is less than five kilometers from the contact line.