Ukraine shelling of city of Stakhanov leaves 22 dead

Ukraine shelling of city of Stakhanov leaves 22 dead

Local officials have claimed that a series of strikes on Stakhanov destroyed several pieces of civilian infrastructure.

The Ukrainian shelling of the city of Stakhanov in the Lugansk People's Republic LPR on Thursday left 22 dead, the local Emergencies Ministry has claimed.

The attack on Stakhanov, a regional industrial center, was staged using an Uragan multiple launch rocket system, according to a statement from officials. 15 casualties were reported at the beginning of the day.

The authorities said 22 people were killed, four people were injured and six infrastructure facilities in Stakhanov were damaged and destroyed as a result of the shelling of the territory of the Lugansk People's Republic.

Local media had earlier reported that a hospital, stadium, hostel and some residential buildings were damaged by the shelling. There were almost 20 rockets fired, according to the Lugansk Information Center.

On Thursday, the LNR's top official Leonid Pasechnik, commenting on the shelling of Stakhanov, compared the Ukrainian Armed Forces to the German Nazis in 1941. He claimed that the nationalists knew that they were attacking civilians and infrastructure. It is not long to wait for the tribunal of Ukrainian criminals. Soon all the guilty will pay the price for every destroyed house, for every dead and wounded civilian of the republic! Pasechnik pledged.

Kiev hasn't commented on the accusations of shelling.

Moscow and Kiev have repeatedly accused each other of war crimes since the beginning of the Russian military operation in Ukraine in late February.

Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, after Ukraine failed 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 protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has 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 that it was planning to take the two republics by force.