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DPR defense spokesman says east Ukraine shelled by Kiev troops, not by militia forces

June 03, 2015, 15:20 UTC+3

The spokesman of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic's defense ministry said the militia are taking "adequate measures against strengthening the genocide"

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Ukrainian army soldiers prepare weapons

Ukrainian army soldiers prepare weapons

© AP Photo/Petro Zadorozhnyy

MOSCOW, June 3. /TASS/. The militia of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) don't not conduct offensive operations, in spite of provocations by Kiev-controlled units, DPR defense ministry spokesman Eduard Basurin told reporters on Wednesday.

"We are not conducting offensive operations, we just take adequate measures against strengthening the genocide of the people of Donbas," the Donetsk news agency quotes him as saying.

He noted that the order to shell DPR cities and villages had been issued by commanders of the Ukrainian armed forces. "DPR cities have been shelled by the Ukrainian army, not by battalions or other units. Only commanders of the Ukrainian armed forces can issue an order to open fire," he added.

The defense minister of the unrecognized republic said the militia’s losses have reached 15 men as Kiev forces have been shelling their positions since last night.

He noted that the Ukrainian army’s actions had been "planned in advance". "They are aimed at disrupting Minsk-2, this is an attempt to show that the situation has gone out of control," he said.

"Our positions came under fire along the whole frontline: in Shirokino, Yelenovka and Maryinka. Shells of three calibers (120 mm, 122 mm and 152 mm) were used. We have conducted defensive operations for seven hours," the Donetsk news agency quotes Vladimir Kononov as saying.

"To date, around 15 people have been killed, these are DPR losses since the first provocation at 03:45," Kononov said, adding that this number included both militia fighters and civilians.

Sixty civilians wounded in Donetsk shelling

At least of 60 civilians in Donetsk have been injured as a result of shelling attacks, director of the Republican Traumatology Centre Alexander Oprishchenko told the Donetsk news agency on Wednesday.

"Some 60 people with injuries have been admitted to our hospital alone," he said.

According to Oprishchenko, five people are in extremely grave condition. "There are people with varying degrees of injuries, some without arms and legs. Many are now undergoing surgery," he said.

According to the Traumatology Centre head, the hospital has all the needed medicaments for the patients. "The blood bank has also not failed us yet," he added.

Shelling traps hundreds of coal miners in east Ukraine

Defense ministry spokesman Basurin also said some 375 coal miners remained trapped in the Skochinsky coal mine and another 576 people were trapped in the Zasyadko coal mine after the pits lost power in shelling.

Shells hit the Skochinsky coal mine and a market in Donetsk’s Kirovsk district, Donetsk news agency quoted spokesman Eduard Basurin as saying.

"The coal pit lost power. Two people have been wounded," Basurin said, adding that information about casualties was being verified.

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