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Donetsk defense ministry says Kiev used local residents as human shields

January 26, 2015, 11:25 UTC+3 DONETSK
According to the local defense ministry spokesman Eduard Basurin, Ukrainian forces shelled Donetsk residential areas and suburbs some 15 times overnight
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Damaged building in the town Avdeevka, near Donetsk, Ukraine (archive)

Damaged building in the town Avdeevka, near Donetsk, Ukraine (archive)

© EPA/ROMAN PILIPEY

DONETSK, January 26. /TASS/. The Defense Ministry of east Ukraine's self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic on Monday accused Ukraine’s security forces of using residents of the Avdeyevka settlement as “human shields”.

Local defense ministry spokesman Eduard Basurin told a briefing the Ukrainian armed forces were holding the civilian population of Avdeyevka as human shields, “hoping to hide behind them while storming the town”.

The spokesman stressed that militia forces had no plans to storm Avdeyevka.

“We do not want to cause suffering to our civilian population,” Basurin said. “We do not want to destroy infrastructure of our cities and we will do everything we can to protect it,” he said, noting that militiamen were currently conducting a military operation to push back Kiev government forces from the city of Debaltsevo.

Ukrainian forces shelled Donetsk residential areas and suburbs some 15 times overnight, Basurin said. The worst affected areas were the town of Dokuchayevsk and the city of Donetsk, he said, adding that Petrovsky and Kuybyshevsky districts suffered the most damage.

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