Ukraine alleges that Russian-backed separatist forces shelled a kindergarten in the Donbas region, breaking a ceasefire that was established after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014.
“Ukrainian Staanytsia Luhanska village was shelled with heavy weapons from the occupied territory of the Donbas. Civilian infrastructure damaged,” Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said Thursday.
Kyiv said the attack is connected to Russia amassing tens of thousands of troops at the Ukrainian border and labeled it a “provocation,”. Russian state-backed media alleged that it was Ukrainian forces who fired shells into the Kremlin-backed territory, but the Ukrainian Joint Forces Operation denied those allegations.
“We call on all partners to swiftly condemn this severe violation of Minsk agreements by Russia amid an already tense security situation,” Kuleba said.
“With particular cynicism, the Russian occupation troops shelled the village of Stanytsa Lugansk in the Luhansk region,” the Ukrainian military said. “As a result of the use of heavy artillery weapons by terrorists, shells hit the kindergarten building. According to preliminary reports at least two civilians received shell shock.”
Several shelling incidents were recorded in eastern Ukraine early Thursday by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), amounting to the most breaches reported in the long-running conflict, a top Ukrainian government official said.
Russia has said it is not planning to invade Ukraine, announcing on Tuesday that some of the troops it had previously deployed, would return to their base after completing military drills, but the U.S. said it has yet to see any evidence Russia followed through on those claims.