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Russia launches criminal case against Ukraine’s defense minister, top brass

September 11, 2017, 9:50 UTC+3

Russia has opened criminal cases against Ukraine’s defense minister, four his deputies, the Chief of General Staff and also 15 senior officers in connection with crimes against citizens of Donbass

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MOSCOW, September 11. /TASS/. Russia’s Investigative Committee has opened criminal cases against Ukraine’s Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak, four his deputies, Chief of General Staff Viktor Muzhenko and also 15 senior officers in connection with crimes against citizens of Donbass.

"While collecting evidence of crimes against peace and security of the mankind in Ukraine’s southeast, the Investigative Committee documented dozens of facts of crimes against the Russian-speaking citizens of Donbass," a spokeswoman for the Investigative Committee, Svetlana Petrenko, said.

Russian investigators suspect these individuals of "using banned means and methods of warfare" and "genocide," the spokeswoman said. "In the near future, an order will be issued on indicting the defendants in the criminal case and then they will be placed on a wanted list," she said.

According to investigators, in 2016-2017 these individuals were in command of military operations and issued criminal orders for officers of Ukraine’s security agencies on carrying out targeted artillery shellings from military hardware against civilian infrastructure facilities in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. "Apparently, these persons’ actions were motivated by hatred for the Russian-speaking population living in Donbass and they wanted their deaths," Petrenko stressed.

Russian investigators said some 110 civilians were killed in the shellings and another 430 civilians not related to the armed conflict, including children, women and elderly people, were wounded. Nearly 1,300 infrastructure facilities, including houses, schools and hospitals, were ruined.

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