DONETSK, August 5. /TASS/. Some 290 people, including 17 children, have been killed in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) over 170 days of escalation in Donbass, the republic’s mission at the Joint Center for Control and Coordination of ceasefire (JCCC) reported on Friday.
"Over 170 days of escalation, 290 civilians, including 17 children, have been killed," the statement reads. The mission added that in all, 2,896 people, including 190 children, have been wounded.
According to the mission, during the escalation, Ukrainian militants have shelled the republic 7,334 times, launching a total of 59,333 shells of various calibers, including 31 missiles using a Tochka-U missile system. They also used Grad, Uragan and Smerch multiple-launch rocket systems. As a result of the bombardments, 6,188 residential buildings and 1,372 civilian infrastructure facilities have been damaged, including 82 medical and 266 educational institutions, 36 critical infrastructure facilities and 467 facilities supplying power, water and gas.
The situation at the Donbass engagement line flared up on February 17. On February 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a decision to recognize the sovereignty of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. The treaties on friendship, cooperation and mutual aid were signed with their leaders. On February 22, the State Duma and the Federation Council ratified both documents and Putin signed the respective laws on the same day. The Russian president 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 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.