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Russian investigators open more criminal cases over Donbass shellings

MOSCOW, May 19. /TASS/. Russia’s Investigative Committee has opened four more criminal cases into the artillery shelling of Donbass carried out by the Kiev forces, the committee’s Spokeswoman Svetlana Petrenko told TASS on Friday.

"Their actions contain elements of crime under Part 1 of Article 356 of the Russian Criminal Code ("The use of banned means and methods of warfare"), she said.

According to investigators, on May 13 and May 17 servicemen of Ukraine’s Armed Forces and the National Guard, who fulfilled criminal orders of the top brass, carried out targeted artillery shellings from heavy armaments against civilian infrastructure facilities in Dokuchayevsk, the village of Kominternovo, Kashtanovoye and Krutaya Balka in the Donetsk region.

"As a result of these crimes, four civilians were wounded and two persons were killed. No one of those killed and injured had been involved in the armed conflict," Petrenko said.

The investigators believe that the Ukrainian forces carried out the shelling with the purpose to kill or harm civilians of Ukraine’s southeast. "The motive of these and many other similar crimes is political and ideological hatred over the refusal of citizens of Donbass to recognize legitimacy of the current authorities and the wish to create separate administrative and territorial divisions," she said.

The investigators have been tasked with establishing the facts and also identifying the persons, who had given the orders to use heavy weapons against the civilians.