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Russia’s investigative body identifies Ukrainian servicemen complicit in shelling Donbass

February 17, 16:28 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case into new artillery attacks on Donbass

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MOSCOW, February 17. /TASS/. Russia’s Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case into new artillery attacks on Donbass, Investigative Committee spokeswoman Svetlana Petrenko said on Friday.

"The Department for the investigation of crimes related to the use of banned means and methods of warfare and the Main Investigation Department of Russia’s Investigative Committee have established earlier unknown facts of artillery attacks by Ukrainian servicemen against civilians, and also new names from among servicemen of the Ukrainian armed forces complicit in them," the spokeswoman said.

According to the investigation, from November 2016 to January 2017, commander of the 79th separate aeromobile brigade of the Ukrainian armed forces Colonel Alexei Shandar, deputy commander of the 72nd separate mechanized brigade of the Ukrainian armed forces Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Samarsky and other servicemen of the Ukrainian armed forces and the National Guard of Ukraine made targeted shelling attacks on civil infrastructure facilities in the Donetsk Region.

"While fulfilling knowingly criminal orders of high-placed officials of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, they conducted fire from heavy armaments on the objectives other than military facilities. As a result, four civilians, including two children, were wounded and more than 70 residential buildings and other civil facilities were destroyed or damaged," the spokeswoman said.

Also, from February 7 to February 15, Alexander Samarsky and other servicemen of the Ukrainian armed forces and the National Guard of Ukraine conducted targeted artillery fire from heavy armaments on civil infrastructure facilities in Donetsk and Dokuchayevsk, and also the Novoazovsk district of the Donetsk Region.

As a result, one civilian died and more than 14 residential buildings and other civil facilities were destroyed or damaged.

Criminal cases have been opened against Shandar and Samarsky on counts of a crime stipulated by part 1, article 356 of Russia’s Criminal Code ("The Use of the Banned Means and Methods of Warfare"), the spokeswoman said.

"I want to remind you that the Investigative Committee is investigating these crimes in compliance with the norms of both international and Russian law making it possible to hold criminally liable foreign citizens who have committed crimes outside our country, in case they have not been punished for this," Petrenko said.

Such crimes do not have limitation periods, she said.

"And our investigators will take all possible measures so that both the perpetrators of these crimes against civilians and those who gave orders must get their just deserts sooner or later," the spokeswoman said.

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