Russia Opens 3 More Probes Into Kiev’s Use of Banned Means of Warfare in Donbass

Members of the Ukrainian armed forces drive a tank in the settlement of Luhanske, Donetsk region, March 27, 2015

© REUTERS/ Oleksandr Klymenko
Russia’s Investigative Committee said Friday it had opened three more criminal cases over the use of banned means and methods of warfare by Ukraine’s military in Donbass.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier this year, monitors from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (SMM) registered the use of banned heavy weaponry along the contact line in southern Donbass region.
According to SMM Principal Deputy Chief Monitor Alexander Hug, the areas to the north and northwest of the Kiev-controlled city of Mariupol have become again conflict “hot spots,” where banned weaponry, including multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS), is being used.
“Three more criminal cases have been opened by the Main Investigation Department of the Investigative Committee over a crime provided for by Part 1 of Article 356 of the Russian Criminal Code (use of prohibited means and methods of warfare),” committee spokeswoman Svetlana Petrenko said.
Kiev launched a special military operation in Ukraine’s southeast in April 2014, after local residents refused to recognize the new Ukrainian authorities, which came to power as a result of a coup.
In February 2015, a peace agreement was signed between Ukraine’s conflicting sides in Minsk after talks brokered by the leaders of Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine — the so-called Normandy Format. Despite the ceasefire deal, sporadic fighting has continued in Donbass.