Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has accused Russian-backed separatists of using a tank to carry out artillery fire in eastern Ukraine, adding that authorities had, as of 3 p.m. local time, “tallied 42 instances of gunfire in the area.”
“The enemy fired at the Ukrainian territories with heavy artillery forbidden by the Minsk Agreement,” Kuleba said Thursday, highlighting that a tank was also used for shelling.
Speaking during a news briefing alongside his British counterpart, Liz Truss, the Ukrainian foreign minister accused Russia of spreading disinformation to blame Ukraine for the incident.
“These shells came from the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, which are controlled by Russia,” Kuleba told members of the press in Kyiv.
“Russian propaganda is trying to falsify reality and blame Ukraine for this shelling, but we are confident that they won’t succeed,” he added.
Both Ukrainian armed forces and separatists controlling parts of eastern Ukraine reported renewed shelling in the region early Thursday.
The Ukrainian armed forces said that “Russian occupation troops shelled the settlement of Stanytsia Luhanska.” Ukraine’s defense ministry said in a statement Thursday that "Ukrainian Forces fired in response to suppress enemy’s activity, strictly adhering to the Minsk agreements."
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said the reports of shellfire were a matter of “very, very deep concern” but added that there were no plans to discuss the matter with the Ukrainian government.
Video and images confirmed by CNN show that a kindergarten in Ukrainian-controlled territory was hit by a shell Thursday. The kindergarten is less than five kilometers from the front lines that separate Ukrainian troops from the Russian-backed forces of the breakaway regions. CNN has not established who initiated the exchange of fire.