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Russian diplomat says no excuse for barbaric attack on Donetsk

February 03, 2017, 11:20 UTC+3

Maria Zakharova also stated that Kiev has a strange way of demonstrating the unity of its country and the people

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© AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka

MOSCOW, February 3. /TASS/. There can be no excuse for the barbarous attack on Donetsk, Kiev has trampled upon all moral norms, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday.

"Overnight Donetsk was heavily bombarded by the Ukrainian military," the Russian diplomat said. "The city’s residential areas were shelled dozens of times with heavy guns as well as Uragan and Grad multiple rocket launchers. As a result, several civilians were killed and many, particularly children, suffered wounds, much damage was inflicted," Zakharova added.

"This barbaric attack cannot be justified, Kiev has violated not only the Geneva Convention for the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, dated August 12, 1949, but also trampled upon all moral norms," she went on to say. "Only barbarians can bombard a sleeping city and kill innocent people, we have no other name for those who carried out this attack."

The diplomat pointed to the Ukrainian authorities’ response who, in her words, "are not only unwilling to accept responsibility but do not hesitate to boast of their military’s actions in Donbass."

Kiev is shamelessly demonstrating its actions in Donbass, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman added:

"The delivery of strikes by heavy artillery - is this how Kiev is demonstrating the unity of its country and the people?"

"Today Kiev is not only expressing no concern over a new spiral of the crisis but is showing off without any compunction its actions in Donbass and even used the UN Security Council venue for this," the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said.

Attacks on journalists 

Russia is concerned about the shelling of journalists in the Donbass region by Ukrainian units, this is a gross violation of norms and standards of international law, Maria Zakharova said.

"We are profoundly concerned about the safety of journalists in the region," she noted. "On January 31, reporters of the NTV network, RT stringers and a cameraman of the Lifenews TV channel came under artillery fire from the Ukrainian armed forces in Donetsk’s Kiev district."

"The Russian Investigative Committee is establishing the circumstances of the incident," the diplomat said. "We regard this incident as a gross violation of norms and standards of international humanitarian law."

"It is surprising that our Western counterparts see journalists as a separate category pointing to the need to give them more rights and providing them with legal tools to protect their own security," she emphasized. "It seems that again no one saw journalists coming under fire."

According to Zakharova, the most cynical thing is that "today Kiev is hosting a conference attended by the OSCE representative on media freedom." "Will anyone notice that they [the journalists]were shelled?," she said.

"We regret to state once again that there has been no response to failure to comply with obligations to ensure journalists’ safety on the part of specialized agencies," the diplomat noted." The OSCE representative did not deem it necessary to publicly condemn the incident, let alone other representatives of various international organizations. Presumably, they are still looking for Russian hackers."

"We are confident that such flagrant cases should not be hushed up by relevant international agencies," Zakharova stressed. "We are waiting for an impartial assessment of the incident at the conference held in Kiev under OSCE auspices today."

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