DONETSK, June 26. /TASS/. A total of 199 civilians, including 12 children, died in the Ukrainian army’s shelling of the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) since the conflict escalation, the DPR mission to the Joint Ceasefire Control and Coordination Center reported on Sunday.
"A total of 199 civilians, including 12 children, died over 130 days of the escalation," the mission said in a statement.
As many as 2,371 civilians, including 148 children, were wounded in the Ukrainian army’s shelling over this period. The Ukrainian military delivered about 5,000 strikes against the Donetsk People’s Republic, firing over 42,000 munitions of various caliber. These munitions included 30 Tochka-U ballistic missiles, 14 BM-30 Smerch, 112 BM-27 Uragan and 7,394 BM-21 Grad rockets, the mission reported.
Over the escalation period, the Ukrainian army’s bombardments damaged 4,927 houses and 1,064 civilian infrastructure facilities, including 64 health and 202 educational institutions, 378 social establishments, 31 critical infrastructure sites and 389 electricity, water and gas supply lines, the mission specified.
The situation at the line of engagement in Donbass escalated on February 17. The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) 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 signed agreements on friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance with their leaders. 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 for assistance he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in Ukraine. 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.
The DPR and the LPR launched an operation to liberate their territories under Kiev’s control.