DONETSK, April 17. /TASS/. Two servicemen of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) were killed and 16 more were wounded in combat operations against Ukrainian forces during the past day, Eduard Basurin, deputy chief of the DPR People’s Militia, reported on Friday.
"Two soldiers of the Donetsk People’s Republic were killed and 16 more were wounded while fighting for independence," the press service of the People’s Militia quoted him as saying on its Telegram channel.
According to Basurin, seven DPR settlements came under shelling by Ukrainian troops during the day. Two civilians were wounded. Twelve dwelling houses and one infrastructure facility, and four cars were damaged. Ukrainian troops used 122mm Grad BM-21 multiple missile launcher systems, 152mm and 122mm artillery systems, and 82mm mortars.
DPR forces neutralized 37 Ukrainian nationalists, hit three 120mm mortars, one armored vehicle and two trucks.
Following a dramatic deterioration of the situation in Donbass on February 17, Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 21 announced a decision to recognize the sovereignty of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics within the boundaries of the administrative borders of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, as is committed to paper in their constitutions. The treaties of friendship, cooperation and mutual aid were signed with their leaders. On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a special military operation in response to a request for help by the heads of the Donbass republics. He stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories, but aimed to demilitarize and denazify the country. The republics began an operation to liberate their territories controlled by Kiev.