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ROSTOV-ON-DON, July 16. /ITAR-TASS/. Customs officers of Russia’s Novoshakhtinsk multi-way border-crossing point to Ukraine in the southern Rostov Region were on Wednesday evening evacuated from their workplaces due to shooting on adjacent Ukrainian territory, Southern Customs Department spokesman Rayan Farukshin said.
“Shooting started at 18:50 in the vicinity of the adjacent Dolzhansky checkpoint. Customs officers were evacuated,” Farukshin said.
“The personnel of the customs house were evacuated at 7.50am Moscow time (GMT+3) on Wednesday over blasts of shells fired from the Ukrainian customs checkpoint Marinovka. Shells exploded outside a border checkpoint in Russia. No one was injured in the incident,” Farukshin said.
He added that border guards from the Russian checkpoint Novoshakhtinsk had also been evacuated overnight to Wednesday. “Upon hearing the gunfire at the Ukrainian customs border-crossing point Dolzhansky at 3.40am Moscow time, the leadership of the customs checkpoint decided to evacuate all personnel. After the gunfire ended, Russian customs officers came back to their workplaces at 4.20am Moscow time,” he noted.Personnel of the Novoshakhtinsk border-crossing point have recently regularly had to leave workplaces due to shootouts on Ukrainian territory. In particular, last night, the officers were evacuated after shooting from artillery guns started near Ukraine’s Dolzhansky border-crossing point.
Troops loyal to Kiev and local militias in the southeastern Ukrainian Donetsk and Luhansk regions are involved in fierce clashes as the Ukrainian armed forces are conducting a military operation to regain control over the breakaway regions, which on May 11 proclaimed their independence at local referendums.
During the military operation, conducted since mid-April, Kiev has used armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation. According to Ukraine’s Health Ministry, 478 civilians have been killed and 1,392 wounded in it. Many buildings have been destroyed and tens of thousands of people have had to flee Ukraine’s war-torn Southeast.
Shells fired from Ukraine occasionally land on Russian territory. In particular, the Ukrainian army shelled the southern Russian town of Donetsk on the border between the two countries with high-explosive projectiles early on Sunday. A shell hit a private house killing one Russian resident and seriously wounding another two.
Donetsk is a regional Russian town with a population of 49,000 located 171 kilometers from the regional capital of Rostov-on-Don and bordering on the Krasnodon district of Ukraine’s Luhansk Region.