NOVO-OGARYOVO, January 23. /TASS/. People who give orders to fire at crowded locations bear responsibility for the deaths of dozens in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday.
“Dozens of people have been killed or wounded as a result, and not only among military personnel on both sides, but what's even more tragic is that there are also casualties among civilians. These are children, old people and women,” Putin said, adding that heavy military machines, artillery, and combat aviation was continually being used in the conflict zone in Ukraine’s south-east
“And all this happens to the accompaniment of propaganda slogans about desire for peace and search for those responsible,” the president said, “Those who give such criminal orders bear responsibility for this. People doing that should know that there is no other way of resolving such conflicts than peace negotiations and political measures.”
The Russian president expressed hope on Friday that common sense will prevail in Kiev, and Ukraine will adhere to peaceful resolution of the conflict in Donbas.
"We often hear statements, including by current Kiev authorities, that Ukraine sticks to this [peaceful] way of solving problems but everything is different in practice," the Russian leader said.
"I hope that common sense will finally prevail," Putin said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that in a letter sent on January 16 he suggested his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko should withdraw troops to the line which Kiev earlier believed to be fair.
Putin told the meeting that the proposed line was in the framework of the September 19 Minsk agreement. He said there was one controversial area, namely the area of the disengagement line of the conflicting parties.
This was a written proposal to withdraw heavy weaponry - artillery and multiple rocket launchers to such a distance from which it would be impossible to deliver destruction to settlements.
The Russian leader also said the situation in eastern Ukraine has sharply deteriorated.
“We have not only failed to receive any clear answer to our proposal, but also saw reverse actions and namely Kiev authorities issued an official order to launch large-scale armed actions practically along the whole perimeter of the contact between the warring parties,” Putin said.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier this week that in recent days Russia has consistently made efforts to mediate the conflict. However, the Ukrainian side, which received the letter by Friday morning, regrettably turned down the plan and proposed nothing instead.
Ukrainian presidential adviser Yuri Biryukov said earlier that the Ukrainian military received orders to open massive fire on the positions of the militias in the military operation zone in the country's east.