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Gunshots are heard in Donbass, rebels and Kiev are blaming each other


Ukraine and rebel groups have accused each other of opening fire in the latest incident in the Donbass. Photo/Illustration

KIEV – Gunshots and explosions have reportedly occurred on contact lines in the war-torn Donbass region of Ukraine . Kiev’s troops and those loyal to the two self-declared republics accused each other of aggression hours after the Kremlin warned new fighting was possible.

Leaders of the unidentified separatist Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) in eastern Ukraine reported on Thursday (17/2/2022) that government forces had invaded its outskirts. According to the DPR, units from Kiev opened fire on several towns and villages using 82-millimeter mortars, hand grenades and rifles.

Meanwhile the Ukrainian Armed Forces later reported that a settlement located near the Lugansk People’s Republic, another breakaway region in the region, had been attacked and photos circulating online were intended to show a bullet-riddled kindergarten on the side that controlled by government forces.

Authorities stated that two civilians had been injured, missiles hit the school, and half of the area had lost electricity. Residents were evacuated as reported by Russia Today.

Kiev has been locked in a civil war with the two breakaway territories since 2014, when separatists declared an independent republic following the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych during mass street protests. Ukrainian officials, along with Western countries, accuse Russia support rebel groups and fuel conflict.

Moscow denies being a party to the war, and does not officially recognize the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic as independent states.

But this week, Russia’s parliament voted in favor of a motion directed against President Vladimir Putin calling on Russia to declare its support for the independence of Donetsk and Lugansk, with 351 legislators supporting the draft proposal and only 16 against.

Also read: Putin: The Events in Donbass are Genocide

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