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Russia launches criminal case on genocide of Russian speakers in south-eastern Ukraine

Russia's Investigative Committee has initiated a criminal case on genocide of the Russian-speaking population in the embattled southeast of Ukraine, the committee's spokesman Vladimir Markin said Monday.

"The Main Investigative Directorate of the Russian Investigative Committee has launched criminal proceedings on the genocide of the Russian-speaking population living in the Lugansk and Donetsk People's republics [Article 357 of Russia's Criminal Code]," Markin told ITAR-TASS.

Investigators established that "in the period from April 12, 2014 until now, in violation of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide [CPPCG], as well as other international legal acts condemning genocide, unidentified persons from among the top political and military leadership of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Armed Forces, National Guard and Right Sector [far-right ultranationalist organization] gave orders designed to eliminate Russian-speaking nationals residing on the territory of the Donetsk and Luhansk republics".

Use of multiple launch rocket systems

Vladimir Markin also said at least 2,500 residents of south-eastern Ukraine have been killed as a result of multiple launch systems attacks.

"Investigators established that killings of Russian-speaking citizens were made with the use of the Grad and Uragan multiple launch rocket systems, aviation unguided rockets with cluster warheads, Tochka-U tactical missiles and other types of heavy offensive armaments of indiscriminate effect," Markin told ITAR-TASS.

"As a result of these actions, at least 2,500 people died," he said.

Besides, Markin added, "over 500 residential houses, utilities and life support facilities, hospitals, child, general education institutions were destroyed in the Donetsk and Luhansk [People's] republics, as a result of which more than 300,000 residents who feared for their life and health were forced to leave their permanent places of residence and seek refuge on the territory of the Russian Federation".

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 29Sep14]

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