Tuesday, February 14 2017 19:54 EET
Russia accuses Ukraine of using weapons of mass destruction in the Donbas, Kyiv denies accusation
Russia, Ukraine, Weapons, Destruction, Donbas, Kyiv

The Investigative Committee of Russia stated that it had received “irrefutable evidence that the Armed Forces of Ukraine used weapons of mass destruction” in the Donbas.

“Within the framework of a criminal investigation of the developments in southeastern Ukraine, undeniable evidence has been received and procedurally documented that the Armed Forces of Ukraine have used weapons of mass destruction, namely “Tochka-U” tactical missile systems, against the civilian population during the armed conflict,” the report states.

It is also noted that the “Tochka-U” missile systems are one of the most powerful types of weapon in the current Ukrainian army, and a significant number of them remained in Ukrainian territory after the collapse of the USSR. According to the investigation data, the Ukrainian military supposedly used missiles equipped with high-explosive fragmentation and cluster charges against the civilian population of the Donbas, especially at the populated areas of the Luhansk Oblast: in the city of Luhansk, the villages of Novosvitlivka, and at Ternove in the Krasnadonsk region, the city of Rovenki, and the Yubileyne settlement of the city of Luhansk district.

The General Staff of Ukraine disputes Russia’s accusations. In particular, in a comment on RBC, Leonid Matyukhin, representative of the Ukrainian military, called the claims of the Russian Investigative Committee “nonsense”. He said that the Russian department’s report “can be regarded as provocation”.

“The people who live there [in the Donbas] are also citizens of Ukraine. We have to live with them. We don’t fire on the civilian population” Matyukhin assured.

In a post on Facebook, Dmitry Tymchuk, Ukrainian MP and coordinator of the Information Resistance Group, called the claims of the Investigative Committee of Russia “an attempt to discredit the Ukrainian military”.

According to Tymchuk, with such “provocations” Moscow is trying to “slander Ukraine, to accuse the AFU [Armed Forces of Ukraine] of war crimes and in this way to acquit itself and justify its actions in the Donbas”.

Previously, in August 2016, the Investigative Committee of Russia initiated a criminal case concerning Ukrainian Minister of Defence Stepan Poltorak, Chief of the General Staff Viktor Muzhenko, and other representatives of the senior military leadership of Ukraine. The department’s official website reports that the case is taken up on the grounds of crime as envisaged in article 356 of the Russian Criminal Code (using prohibited means and methods of warfare).

In September 2014, the Prosecutor General of Ukraine initiated criminal proceedings concerning senior officials of the Investigative Committee of Russia for supporting the DPR and LPR organizations. In August 2016 the PGU reported that it suspected 18 members of the Russian government and armed forces of infringing on the territorial integrity and inviolability of Ukraine, aggressive warfare, and other crimes. All 18 suspects are wanted, a petition for their arrest is being made in court.

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