Donbass war: Civilians killed in Luhansk, several Ukrainian shells explode in Russia

Ukrainian shells explode in Russia, civilians killed in Luhansk

Russia's Federal Security Bureau for the Rostov region confirmed that several shells that were launched from the Ukrainian territory fell and exploded on the territory of Russia.

"One of the shells exploded about two kilometers from the Russian-Ukrainian border on the outskirts of the village of Mityakinskaya, the Tarasovsky district of the Rostov region. Another projectile destroyed an outbuilding on the territory of a private household in Manotsky farm, the Tarasovsky district," FSB officials said, RIA Novosti reports.

Earlier it became known that a live shell hit a residential building on a farm in Russia's Rostov region. No casualties were reported, the roof of the building was damaged.

A little earlier, another shell exploded in the Tarasovsky district of the Rostov region. The explosion occurred on the morning of February 19 at about 04:00 Moscow time. The shell exploded 300 meters from one of the houses, local residents told law enforcement officers.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky believes that the reports about the explosion of shells in the Rostov region, which is located near the border of Ukraine, were part of Russia's provocations.

Russia and Belarus continue Union Resolve 2022 war games

Russia and Belarus decided to continue Union Resolve 2022 military exercises to check the combat readiness of the reaction forces of the Union State. The exercises began on February 10 and were supposed to last through February 20.

Belarus Defence Minister Viktor Khrenin said that the exercises would continue due to the increase in military activities near the external borders of the Union State and the aggravation of the crisis in the Donbass. The decision to continue the war games was made by presidents of Russia and Belarus.

The exercises will continue to practice the missions that have not been practiced in the previous days. The goal of the military exercises remains the same — "to ensure an adequate response and de-escalate military preparations near our common borders," Khrenin said.

On February 19, Russian President Vladimir Putin kicked off Russia's strategic deterrence exercises. Ballistic and cruise missiles were launched as part of the exercises. Putin watched missile launches from the situational center, where he was staying with his Belarusian counter part Alexander Lukashenko.

Civilians killed in People's Republic of Luhansk

Alexander Bastrykin, the Chairman of the Investigative Committee of Russia, ordered to initiate a criminal case into the death of civilians in the self-proclaimed People's Republic of Luhansk. It was earlier reported that several civilians were killed in the unrecognised republic during an attack from the Armed Forces of Ukraine

It was also reported that a pensioner born in 1938 suffered a shell shock during the shelling in the republic.

According to the People's Militia of Luhansk, several civilians were killed in the self-proclaimed republic during an attack by the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the area of ​​​​the settlement of Pionerskoye. As a result of the offensive, two civilians were killed and five houses were destroyed, representatives for the People's Militia of Luhansk said.

The crisis in the Donbass aggravated on February 17. The self-proclaimed People's Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk accused each other of repeated violations of ceasefire and artillery shelling. The next day, the leaders of the two republics announced mass evacuations of the population to Russia.

Donetsk residents report massive artillery shelling

Residents of Donetsk said that the shelling of the city, which took place on the night and in the morning of February 20, was most massive since 2017.

The Armed Forces of Ukraine started shelling the city at around midnight on the night of February 20, the shooting ended closer to 4 a.m. Moscow time.

Refugees continue arriving in Russia from Donbass

Nearly one million residents of the Donbass have applied for Russian citizenship, Russian MP from the Rostov region, Viktor Vodolatsky said, TASS reports.

According to the MP, about 950,000 people have filed for the Russian citizenship. More than 770,000 people have already received it.

A train with refugees from the self-proclaimed People's Republics of Luhansk and Donetsk arrived in Russia's Voronezh region from the Rostov region. About 1,000 refugees have arrived in the Voronezh region. The authorities of the Voronezh region have implemented a state of emergency due to the growing number of refugees from the Donbass.

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