The Russian Investigative Committee has received irrefutable evidence that the Ukrainian armed forces used weapons of mass destruction in southeastern Ukraine, the committee’s spokesperson, Svetlana Petrenko, said.
“Within the framework of a criminal investigation into developments in southeastern Ukraine, Russian investigators have received and procedurally documented the irrefutable evidence that the Ukrainian armed forces used weapons of mass destruction, namely, the Tochka-U tactical missile systems against civilians during the armed conflict. Russian Investigative Committee officers have procedurally documented the evidence that the Ukrainian military used the Tochka-U missile systems while shelling populated localities in the Lugansk region: in Lugansk, in the village of Novosvetlovka and Ternovoye, and the Krasnodon district, in the city of Rovenki and in Lugansk’s Yubileiny inhabited locality,” she said.
According to investigation data, the Ukrainian military used missiles equipped with high-explosive fragmentation and cluster warheads against civilians in the Donbass region. “A focused high-explosive warhead detonates generating up to 14,500 fragments, with the kill zone being 2-3 hectares. Missiles equipped with cluster warheads eliminate manpower and soft-skinned vehicles in the open space in the area from 3.5 to 7 hectares with up to 15,800 fragments,” Petrenko said.
She noted that the Tochka missile systems developed back in the 1970s are one of the most powerful weapons in the arsenal of the modern Ukrainian army, adding that they can be equipped with conventional, nuclear and chemical weapons.
“Of course, such weapons can be classified as weapons of mass destruction, which have extremely high destructive power in a large area. These weapons have been designed to inflict mass casualties or destruction in relatively large spaces and are intended to wipe out as many people as possible within its coverage area,” Petrenko added.
She emphasized that international agreements prohibit the use of weapons that leave no chance of survival to both the warring parties and civilians during shootouts or military conflicts. The use of such indiscriminate weapons simultaneously entails civilian casualties and excessive damage of civilian assets.
“The Ukrainian servicemen acted contrary to the Minsk agreements, as well as the provisions of the 1949 Geneva Convention for the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War and the additional protocol to it,” Petrenko said, adding that the use of such weapons indicates that the authorities in Kiev are pursuing the aim of the total annihilation of the population and infrastructure in southeastern Ukraine.