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“Video reports from Sloviansk and its suburbs, from Kramatorsk and other settlements of Donbass prove the use of heavy artillery. These are not ‘pinpoint’ special operations. Such strikes are aimed at wiping out towns,” Russia’s envoy to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Andrei Kelin said on Friday.
“Donbass has faced with the cleansing of Russian-speakers. This is close to ethnic cleansing,” he said.
“We cannot understand how the majority of the population can be ‘diabolized’. We don’t understand how people, who protect their land, their houses from radicals violating all norms of humanitarian law, can be called terrorists and separatists,” Kelin said.
“A month has passed after Petro Poroshenko was elected Ukraine’s president. We continue to wait for the president’s adequate steps over deescalation,” he said.
“In order to cease fire throughout the country it is necessary to conduct a mutually respectful dialogue with the country’s southeast and come to agreements that would meet the interests of all regions and political forces. Amnesty should be granted to protesters,” he said.
“Today the situation is difficult. The besieged cities lack foodstuffs and medications. The Ukrainian army, the National Guard and other armed units with the unclear legal status are only intensifying the operations,” Kelin said.
“Reports from Donbass are similar to those from the theatre of war,” he said.
“Ukraine is concentrating armored vehicles near the town of Yampol. Heavy artillery, armored vehicles and aviation is used in violation of international humanitarian law. Strikes are being delivered on residential areas, hospitals and the city infrastructure. Peaceful civilians, children continue to die. These facts can’t be denied and concealed. Ukraine is considering measures to impose martial law that will lead to further escalation and the suppression of protests,” Kelin said.