MOSCOW, July 07. /ITAR-TASS/. Moscow hopes the European Union will denounce the policy of the Kiev authorities, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Monday.
“It is apparently senseless to demand that Kiev stop shelling civil facilities yet again. Kiev is deaf to calls to save the lives of people,” the ministry said. “In this connection, we hope for a proper reaction on the part of the EU countries condemning the criminal policy of the Kiev authorities.”
“Can it be that their policy is conducted within the framework of the so-called political part of the association agreement between the EU and Ukraine?” it said.
The Russian foreign policy department cited events in eastern Ukraine that have occurred during the past few days, including artillery strikes on a suburb of the city of Luhansk — Bolshaya Vergunka, Luhansk itself, as well as Sloviansk and an air strike on the Donetsk Airport.
A few bombs exploded on the territory of the Luhansk regional clinical treatment center. In the Rostov Region in southern Russia, the “Donetsk” border-crossing point came under fire from Ukraine, and in Nikolayevka (15 kilometers from Sloviansk), the Ukrainian troops opened fire on civilians who were trying to leave the city.
On July 6, National Guard soldiers conducted a mopping-up operation in Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, when they arrested all people who have ever given interviews to Russian journalists. The next day, the cities came under artillery fire despite the fact that militiamen had left them.“Kiev’s security officials destroy their own cities, using the tactics which is seldom used even by occupation troops on hostile territory,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said. “These are facts. They can’t be hidden.”
At the end of last year, Ukraine’s then-President Viktor Yanukovych suspended the signing of an association agreement with the EU to study the deal more thoroughly. His decision triggered anti-government protests that often turned violent and eventually led to a coup in February 2014.
New people were brought to power in Kiev amid riots and ultranationalist rhetoric. Crimea refused to recognize the coup-imposed authorities, held a referendum and seceded from Ukraine to reunify with Russia in mid-March after some 60 years as part of Ukraine. The West and Kiev do not recognize Crimea's reunification with Russia.
Crimea’s example apparently inspired residents of Ukraine’s Southeast, who supported the country’s federalization. They started massive protests and formed militias.
The Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which border on Russia, held referendums on May 11, in which most voters supported independence from Ukraine. South Ossetia has recognized the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) and the Luhansk People's Republic (LPR). No other countries have followed suit so far.
Since mid-April, Kiev has been conducting a punitive operation against federalization supporters.
The operation in Ukraine's embattled southeastern regions bordering Russia, which involves armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation, has already resulted in hundreds of deaths, destroyed buildings and forced tens of thousands of people to cross the border from Ukraine to Russia.
After a brief ceasefire announced by President Petro Poroshenko on June 20 and terminated by him on June 30, military attacks of the pro-Kiev forces on the country’s southeastern regions resumed.