Brussels, Kiev, Minsk, Moskau, Berlin, Washington (18/2). On 17 September 2022 at 1600 hrs a variety of Open Source monitors reporting heavy artillery shelling in the Russian separatist occupied areas of the Ukraine has commenced. By the end of the day reports suggested 59 cease fire violations were recorded.
Casualties are not yet reported but a shell destroyed a Ukrainian kindergarden and video images of fires on roofs of houses are surfacing on social media. Later in the early morning hours of Friday, February 18, 2022 the Ukrainian military confirmed the shelling.
European Union Foreign Council members noted that the use of heavy artillery is tightly controlled ruling out ‘crazy separatists’ launch what appears a coordinated artillery barrage along the border line between Ukrainian and separatist forces.
By the end of today, reports of Ukrainian recce special forces were killed in a firefight and the leader of the separarist leader called for a forced evacuation order of the occupied Eastern provinces of Ukraine.
The two pro-Moscow separatist regions in eastern Ukraine will launch a “mass evacuation” of civilians into Russia starting Friday, accusing Kyiv of planning to invade the breakaway territory.
Denis Pushilin, leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, said in a televised address that the evacuation into the neighboring Rostov region has been coordinated with “Russian leadership.”
“Women, children and the elderly are to be evacuated first,” Pushilin said.
Luhansk People’s Republic leader Leonid Pasechnik followed up with orders to evacuate into Russia shortly afterward.
Images posted to social media appear to show long lines of buses waiting to evacuate civilians as well as residents queuing outside of ATMs shortly after the evacuation announcements.
Meanwhile, screenshots posted to social media show automated text messages ordering citizens to evacuate and advising them not to panic.
A day earlier, Ukraine accused the Russian-backed rebels of shelling a kindergarten in the Kyiv-controlled town of Stanytsia Luhanska, injuring two teachers.
Ukraine’s government and the separatists in the region known as the Donbas have traded blame for the latest flare-up in fighting.