Another air-raid alarm alerts once more the residents of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine. Witnesses say that, judging by the nature of the sounds, the Ukrainian security forces used the Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) “Grad”. Several schools, residential areas and public enterprises are destroyed in the city within a single night. Buildings can be restored or rebuilt. Worst of all is the unrecoverable loss of human life. Scores of innocent civilians are lost forever. According to the authorities of the self-proclaimed Donetsk National Republic, nineteen people were killed while more than thirty wounded were hastened to the city’s hospitals in this fatal night. All were civilians.
There is little doubt that the Ukrainian army command orders cause severe casualties among the country’s civilian population. Since the beginning of the military operation in the East of Ukraine more than eleven hundred people have been killed and nearly three and a half thousand injured according to the press release of the UN information center on the latest report of the monitoring mission of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. However, the Kiev government denies the accusations of recklessness towards its own people, shifting the blame on the self-defence forces of Donbass. Former Ukrainian acting Minister of Defence Mikhail Koval strongly refuted the UN information that air attacks and artillery bombardment of the Ukrainian forces resulted in large number of victims among the civilian population of Luhansk and Donetsk regions.
Koval argued that “the Ukrainian army is forbidden to fire on cities”. He went on to say that: “The Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine clearly defined the mission of the Armed Forces – in no circumstances use weapons against civilians. My subordinates and I are responsible for performing of this task.” However, hard facts attest to the opposite. In this regard, the Ukrainian military commanders are either hypocrites, or consciously violate the order of Poroshenko’s government.
Moreover, it surfaces that the Ukrainian army uses prohibited cluster munitions. Alexander Boroday, Prime Minister of self-proclaimed Donetsk National Republic repeatedly referred to this. The Russian Investigative Committee also confirmed this information. According to Boroday, Kiev’s security forces used the multiple launch rocket system “Grad”, aviation uncontrolled rockets with a cluster head, and other heavy weapons.
It is noteworthy that Ukrainian security forces receive the deadly cluster munitions from their overseas sponsors. According to the head of the press service of the self-proclaimed Luhansk National Republic, the Ukrainian army regularly uses the US-made shells. Kiev has not, to our knowledge, denied their use, but at the same time keeps quiet.
For the loss of innocent human lives and unprecedented human suffering of all the people of Ukraine – irrespective of language, religion, creed or political conviction – to stop, the recently agreed ceasefire agreement should be universally respected so that the ground is prepared for a political process to pacify the country.