London, Monday, 14 March 2022
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, a cluster munitions missile strike by Ukraine targeted a residential neighbourhood in the eastern city of Donetsk on Monday, killing 20 people and injuring 28 others.
According to Defense Ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov, a Tochka-U missile went off above a bus stop where people, including women and children, were waiting for a bus.
"Twenty civilians were murdered when a cluster warhead exploded in the centre of Donetsk. Another 28 individuals were critically hurt, including children, and were rushed to hospitals "he stated
The decision to use this type of missile, according to Konashenkov, was made after consent from the Ukrainian armed forces' leadership in Kyiv.
Donetsk is located in a part of Ukraine controlled by Russian rebels, in an enclave that Moscow recognised as autonomous prior to the start of the war on February 24.
"Using such weapons in a city when there are no armed forces firing positions is clearly against the civilian population and is a war crime," Konashenkov added.
"The fact that the nationalists loaded the tactical missile Tochka-U with cluster ammo demonstrates that the goal of their attack on the city was to murder as many civilians as possible," he stated.
The war between Russia and Ukraine, which began on February 24, has sparked worldwide censure, financial sanctions against Moscow, and an exodus of global companies from Russia.
According to the UN, at least 596 people have been killed and 1,067 injured in Ukraine since the start of the conflict, however conditions on the ground make it difficult to verify the exact figure.
According to the UN refugee agency, about 2.7 million people have fled to neighbouring nations.
(Research and edit by: The Decision Maker - International Relations editors)