© AFP Photo / Andrey Stenin
Aftermath of an artillery attack by the Ukrainian army on the Artyom district in Slavyansk.
Ukrainian troops have on many occasions used incendiary weapons and cluster bombs
against militia-held cities, acts that are banned under the international law regulating warfare, the Russian military said.
The accusation was voiced on Friday by Major General Viktor Poznikhir, the deputy commander of the chief operations branch of the Russian General Staff. Earlier some media reports claimed that munitions, which are not allowed to be used against civilian targets
, were used in eastern Ukraine by the Kiev troops in their assault on armed militias.
According to the general, the Russian military are certain of a number of such attacks by Ukrainian troops. Those include artillery shelling with incendiary shells on June 12 in Slavyansk, on June 24 and June 29 in Semyonovka and on July 7 in Lisichansk
. There were also air strikes with incendiary bombs on June 21 in Slavyansk and Kramatorsk and on July 23 in Donetsk and shelling with cluster shells on June 24 in Semyonovka.
"We have sufficient proof that in the cities and villages of Ukraine I mentioned, ammunition based on phosphorus was used," Poznikhir said. In all those instances characteristic fast-falling clusters of sparks were spotted in the air and massive fires on the ground were reported, proving that those were not illumination flares.
The evidence behind the ministry's assessment includes eyewitness accounts, injuries sustained by the victims of the attacks and media reports from Ukraine, the Russian general said.