MOSCOW, July 16. /TASS/. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has ordered to enhance country’s military groupings Yug (South) and Center to prevent the Ukrainian military from delivering massive rocket attacks on the cities of Donbass and other regions, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.
According to the ministry, Shoigu paid an inspection visit earlier to the Yug and Center military groupings, which are involved in Russia’s special military operation in Donbass.
Shoigu listened to reports on Saturday delivered by commanders of the Yug (South) and Center military groupings taking part in the country’s special military operation in Ukraine, the Defense Ministry said in a statement.
"Russian Defense Minister Army General Sergey Shoigu paid an inspection visit to Russia’s military groupings Yug and South, which are implementing tasks of the special military operation in Ukraine," the statement said.
According to the ministry, the reports on the current state of affairs in the special military operation were delivered by Army General Sergey Surovikin, in charge of the Yug military grouping, and Central Military District Commander Colonel-General Alexander Lapin, in charge of the Center military grouping.
The situation at the line of engagement in Donbass escalated on February 17. The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) reported the most massive bombardments by the Ukrainian military in recent 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. Russia signed agreements on friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance with their leaders. Russia recognized the Donbass republics in accordance with the DPR and LPR constitutions within the boundaries of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions as of the beginning of 2014.
Russian President Putin announced on February 24 that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics for assistance he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in Ukraine. The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories, noting that the operation was aimed at the denazification and demilitarization of Ukraine.
The DPR and the LPR launched an operation to liberate their territories under Kiev’s control.