Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 15.02.2019
On the 1,821st day of the Russian Federation’s war against Ukraine, invasion-occupation troops shelled civilians twice. The villages of Katerynivka in Luhansk region and Novoluhanske in Donetsk region were deliberately targeted and bombarded by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. These war crimes are likely to go unpunished by a world that is determined to appease Russian aggression and ignored the international war that rages in the heart of Europe.
A repair crew working for Luhansk power distribution outlet “Popasna REM” was reconstructing a power line at a transformer substation near the village of Katerynivka. Around noon on February 14 they were shelled. The bombardment came from Russian positions near the occupied village of Molodizhne. The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation fired 120 millimetre calibre and 82 millimetre calibre mortars – weapons that are prohibited from being anywhere near the ‘contact line’ by the terms of the Minsk Agreements.
Electricity had been knocked out to Katerynivka by Russian shelling the previous evening, February 13. Despite an escort by an OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine team – and despite a ‘security guarantee’ by the Russian terrorist organization, the so-called “Luhansk People’s Republic” – the Popasna REM workers were prevented from turning the lights back on in the village because the Russians shelled the power substation again.
Attacking public works such as the Donetsk Water Filtration plant near Avdiivka is part of the war policy of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
In a statement, Ukrainian military officers who monitor violations of the Minsk Agreement condemned the attack: “The Ukrainian side of the JCCC [Joint Centre for Control and Coordination] condemns the actions of the armed formations of the Russian Federation and their mercenaries, in breach of ceasefire guarantees, during planned repair and restoration works. Such insidious shelling threatens the lives and health both of civilian repair workers and of those who ensure their work.”
Also on February 14, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation shelled a residential area of the village of Novoluhanske in Donetsk region. Firing heavy artillery, the Russians blew up a house. The resident, a 69-year-old man, was at home at the time. He was thrown out of the building by a blast wave and miraculously survived.
Preliminary assessments are that the Russians used a sophisticated weapon called “Krasnopol.” This is a semi-automatic laser-guided artillery weapon system with a calibre of 152 millimetres. In other words, the Russians were targeting the house, which was known to be a non-military target. The Russians committed a war crime.
This was only on one day. The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation have been invading Ukraine and attacking civilians for almost five whole years.