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Russia vows “tough response” to Ukraine’s military border shelling

July 13, 2014, 13:28 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The incident occurred early on Sunday when a Ukrainian shell hit a private house in the town of Donetsk in the southern Russian Rostov Region
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© Photo/Keystone, Laurent Gillieron

MOSCOW, July 13 /ITAR-TASS/. Russia will give a tough response to the shelling of its territory by the Ukrainian military, in which one person was killed and another was wounded, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said on Sunday.

The incident occurred early on Sunday when a Ukrainian shell hit a private house in the town of Donetsk in the southern Russian Rostov Region.

The incident is evidence of a profound escalation of danger for Russian citizens on the Russian territory, the diplomat said.

“Naturally, this action will not be left without a corresponding reaction,” he said. “The talk with the Ukrainian side on this issue is going to be serious and tough,” Karasin said in an interview with Russia’s Moscow Speaking radio station.

The incident once again confirms the need for the quickest end to bloodshed in east Ukraine and the resumption of talks within the contact group with the participation of all the warring sides in Ukraine, the Russian diplomat said.

Russian investigators have said that a shell fired from the Ukrainian territory fell in the courtyard of a private house in Baltiiskaya Street in the town of Donetsk in the Rostov Region. The shell killed a man born in 1968 and injured an old woman.

The Donetsk central hospital chief told ITAR-TASS that the old lady’s health condition “was assessed as satisfactory.”

Russian investigators have opened a criminal probe into the firing of a shell into a private house in the Rostov Region, Investigation Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said. Investigators are working on the scene to find out all the circumstances of the incident, he added.

Regional government spokesman Alexander Titov said that the Ukrainian shell had damaged two private houses.

The Russian Donetsk automobile border checkpoint had to suspend its work again over the shelling from Ukraine, spokesman for Russia’s Southern Customs Branch Rayan Farukshin said.

“The staff of the customs post was again evacuated today and is staying in the administrative building in the town of Donetsk. The customs post worked for just several hours after the halt of its operations during the night,” the customs spokesman said.

The Russian territory has repeatedly come under fire from Ukraine recently but there have been no victims until now.

On Saturday, July 12, the Ukrainian military fired at a Russian border guard squad in the Kuibyshev district of the Rostov Region on the Russian-Ukrainian border. “The Russian border guards fired with their weapons in response, after which the shelling ceased,” spokesman for the regional border guard branch Vasily Malayev told ITAR-TASS.

The squad comprised three border guards. None of them was hurt,” the spokesman said.

Also on Saturday, four shells fired from Ukraine exploded in the Kuibyshev district of the Rostov Region, 300 meters from the Russia-Ukraine border. There were no victims among local civilians or border guards.

Fierce fighting continues between the pro-Kiev military and self-defense militia in the east Ukrainian Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which proclaimed their independence from Ukraine at their local May 11 referendums.

Kiev’s punitive operation against the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in a bid to bring them back under control has already claimed hundreds of lives, destroyed buildings and forced tens of thousands to flee Ukraine. Moscow has repeatedly called on the Ukrainian authorities to stop the operation and engage in dialogue with the east.

According to Ukraine’s Health Ministry, 478 civilians have been killed and 1,392 wounded during Kiev’s military operation.

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