DONETSK, February 22. /TASS/. Ukrainian Armed Forces fired five rockets from Grad multiple launch rocket systems at Donetsk, marking the first use of these systems since 2018, DPR mission to the Joint Ceasefire Coordination and Control Center (JCCC) reported Tuesday.
"For the first time since 2018, the enemy used multiple launch rocket systems," the report says, adding that, at 15:10 Moscow time, the Kievsky District of Donetsk came under fire.
"A total of five BM-21 Grad rockets and 12 122-mm shells were fired," the mission added.
The DPR People’s Militia said that the information about casualties and damages to civilian infrastructure is being clarified.
"The DPR mission to the JCCC promptly informed the Ukrainian side in the JCCC, who refuses to react to our requests for calm and promptly take measures on cessation of Ukrainian Armed Forces’ fire, about the facts of violations," the statement says.
Earlier on Tuesday, DPR People’s Militia Deputy head Eduard Basurin stated that People’s Militia intelligence registered relocation of five Grad systems to Mariupol area, where the republic could be targeted from.
The situation at the contact line in Donbass escalated on February 17. Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics reported the heaviest shelling in months, which damaged a number of civilian infrastructure objects. On Friday, DPR head Denis Pushilin and LPR head Leonid Pasechnik announced evacuation of civilians to Russia due to the growing threat of hostilities. On Saturday, the republics commenced total mobilization.
On February 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the recognition of DPR and LPR sovereignty. The sides signed treaties on friendship, cooperation and mutual aid.