MOSCOW, February 28. /TASS/. The Ukrainian armed forces are trying in their retreat from their controlled territories to inflict maximum damage on the local population, Head of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Denis Pushilin said on Monday.
"The situation is tense. The Ukrainian armed forces continue fighting against the local population. This can be especially seen when they are retreating as they are trying to cause as much damage as possible. Moreover, they do not care about how many civilians are forced actually to survive in these conditions," the DPR head said in a live broadcast on the Rossiya-24 TV Channel.
The Ukrainian army’s bombardments of the Donetsk People’s Republic continue, Pushilin added.
"In the past 24 hours alone, we have three civilians killed and six others wounded," the DPR head said.
The DPR mission to the Joint Ceasefire Control and Coordination Center reported on February 28 that in the past 24 hours the Ukrainian military had bombarded the republic’s territory 40 times, firing 538 munitions and employing heavy artillery guns, grenade launchers of various calibers and mortars.
Situation in Donbass
The situation at the line of engagement in Donbass escalated on the morning of February 17. The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) reported the most massive bombardments by the Ukrainian military over past months, which damaged civilian infrastructure and caused civilian casualties.
On February 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced recognizing the sovereignty of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics amid a dramatic escalation in Donbass. Russia signed agreements on friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance with their leaders. Russia recognized the Donbass republics within the boundaries stipulated in their constitutions that designate them by the borders of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions as of the beginning of 2014.
On February 24, President Putin said in a televised address that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in order to protect people "who have been suffering from abuse and genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years." The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories.