KIEV, Ukraine – Ukraine’s prime minister said Thursday that Russia bore responsibility for the shelling of a Donetsk trolleybus in which 13 people died in the eastern rebel bastion of Donetsk.
The Kiev military had earlier blamed the pro-Kremlin insurgents for the second such incident in less than two weeks.
But Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Russia bore just as much guilt because it supplied the fighters with heavy weapons and backed them up with army troops — charges Moscow flatly denies.
“Russian terrorists again committed a horrible act against humanity,” Yatsenyuk said in statement published on the government’s website. “And responsibility for this is borne by the Russian Federation.”
Ukraine calls its nine-month campaign in the industrial war zone an “anti-terrorist operation” that is part of a broader global fight against radical militants.
The Kremlin in turn brands the war a “punitive operation” designed by Kiev to punish the region’s ethnic Russians for supporting closer ties with Moscow.
Yatsenyuk said fighting that international monitors said has killed more than 5,000 people can only be stopped “by the removal of Russian forces and Russian bandits from Ukrainian territory.”
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