MOSCOW, December 21. /TASS/. The acting head of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), Denis Pushilin, asked Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday to reinforce the republic’s air defenses amid intensified Ukrainian shelling attacks.
During his meeting with Putin on Tuesday, Pushilin informed the president that the armed forces of Ukraine have been striking residential areas of the republic’s cities, causing civilian deaths.
"In this regard, I would request you <…> to increase the number of modern air defense systems and enhance counter-fire measures," he said. "This would help us to prevent fire on our large urban areas."
The DPR official said Ukrainian troops are deliberately staging shelling attacks that target residential areas and affect wide swaths of territory.
"In Donetsk alone, just between [December] 2 and 18, there were 21 fatalities and 94 people were injured. 460 houses and adjacent territories were damaged," he said. "All of them were civilians."
Putin noted that foreign media and human rights organizations remain silent about Ukraine’s shelling attacks targeting civilians in Donetsk.
"Alas, this is so. We have to live with that, and the system of double standards has been in place since 2014, throughout the entire negotiation process," Pushilin said.
"Let’s face the truth: Donbass was seeking to resolve the conflict peacefully, and so did Russia, who, as a guarantor nation was doing everything within its power and even more. If only we could foretell back then - based on what we saw during negotiations - that Europe and the West cannot be trusted," the acting DPR leader lamented.