ST. PETERSBURG, June 16. /TASS/. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is worried over the increased intensity of combat operations in Donbass, Ikhtiyar Aslanov, who leads the ICRC regional delegation to Russia and Belarus, told TASS on Thursday.
"The intensity of combat operations in Donbass has increased and we are very concerned over it," he said on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
According to Aslanov, civil infrastructure, including hospitals and educational establishments, come under attacks whereas international law guarantees protection to such facilities. "It is prohibited to attack civil infrastructure without military necessity," he stressed.
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 of early 2014. On February 24, 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.