DONETSK, July 16. /TASS/. Over 250 civilians, including 16 children, have been killed in the Ukrainian military’s bombardments of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) since the conflict escalation, the DPR mission to the Joint Ceasefire Control and Coordination Center reported on Saturday.
"Over 150 days of the escalation, 256 civilians, including 16 children, have been killed," the statement reads.
As many as 2,699 civilians, among them 176 children, have been wounded in the Ukrainian army’s shelling attacks since the escalation, the mission said.
Over the escalation period, the DPR mission registered 5,983 instances of the Ukrainian army’s bombardment, it said.
"The enemy fired 49,886 munitions of various caliber, among them 31 Tochka-U missiles, 14 Smerch, 151 Uragan and 8,759 Grad rockets," the statement says.
The Ukrainian army’s bombardments damaged 5,545 houses, over 1,230 civilian infrastructure facilities, 434 facilities providing electricity, water and gas supplies, and destroyed over 670 transportation vehicles.
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 announced 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.