Kiev may have used US-supplied artillery to attack Donetsk, local officials claim.
Local authorities of the Donetsk People's Republic DPR said on Monday that at least five people were dead and 18 others injured in Ukrainian shelling of Donetsk. A teenage girl is among the fatalities, according to local officials. The strikes damaged several civilian buildings in the city, including schools and residential buildings.
Preliminary reports allege that US-supplied artillery may have been used in the attacks. Two 14-year-old girls were hurt in one home, according to Mayor Aleksey Kulemzin. One of them died while the other was taken to the hospital.
Three civilians were killed, and a dozen others were injured at two schools, the mayor claimed. He said two people were in serious serious condition.
The headmistress of one of the schools, Olga Rachinskaya, told the media that many of the teachers were lacerated with shrapnel. She said that the two workers who were killed were elderly.
This is just an ordinary school. She said there was nothing military here. The educators said that Donetsk schools teach remotely, so students were not in the classrooms when the shells hit.
The DPR defense HQ claimed that Ukrainian troops fired at least two Smerch rockets armed with cluster munitions and also used 155 mm artillery in the shelling.
Mayor Kulemzin speculated that Ukrainian troops may have used US-supplied 155 mm M 777 howitzers in the attack. He told Russian television that this was heavy weaponry, most likely the American delivery. He claimed that some shell fragments discovered on the ground had markings in English.
The US and its allies have supplied more than 100 towed artillery guns to Ukraine, ramping up their military aid with heavier weapons of mass destruction. Kiev may receive US-made multiple launch rocket systems, adding to the weapons from Soviet stockpiles that it currently possesses, according to media reports.
According to a news from Donetsk on Monday, Russian spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Ukrainian attacks on civilian infrastructure in DPR were outrageous. This is exactly what our warriors are fighting for. In order to make such things stop, he said, branding the perpetrators neo-Nazis Russia attacked the state of Ukraine in late February, after failing to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French-brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.
The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists that the Russian offensive was unprovoked and has denied it plans to retake the two republics by force.