LUGANSK, May 21. /TASS/. The Ukrainian military opened fire three times targeting the city of Pervomaisk in the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) over the past 24 hours, the LPR mission to the Joint Ceasefire Control and Coordination Center reported in a statement on Saturday.
According to the report, the Ukrainian forces "used 152mm and 122mm artillery weapons (firing 10 shells) and 120mm mine throwers (firing four mines) directed at the residential area of Pervomaisk," the statement, which was posted by the center on its Telegram channel, reads.
The situation at the line of engagement in Donbass escalated on February 17. The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics 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 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 said in a televised address on February 24 that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in Ukraine in order to protect people "who have been suffering from abuse and genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years."
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.