“According to the OSCE SMM report based on information received as of 19:30, 22 March 2019, in the Trudivski area of the Petrovskyi district in Donetsk city (non-government-controlled, 15km south-west of the city centre) at 1 Samarska Street, the SMM saw a fresh impact (15cm hole) 30cm above ground in the north-west facing side of a functioning school building, assessed as having been caused by heavy-machine-gun fire,” the press service of the JFO Headquarters reports with reference to the Ukrainian side of the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination.
As the school staff told the SMM, the shooting had occurred on 21 March in the early morning, when the pupils had been in attendance. However, they refused to answer any further questions without permission from senior members of the armed formations.
“The indicated scheme shows that the Armed Forces of Ukraine can in no way be involved in damaging the school because the distance to the closest Ukrainian positions is 3,450 meters at least, which is unattainable for firing a machine gun, and also because the school is located inside a residential area and is surrounded by the residential buildings on all sides. Taking into account the fact that the impact is 30 centimeters above ground, the bullet could not bypass all those houses,” the press service reports.
The observers spotted another shelling of a school in Holmivskyi (non-government-controlled, 49km north-east of Donetsk). As the SMM was not allowed to enter the school, it could not assess the type of weapon or the direction of fire. As the monitors note, the Armed Forces of Ukraine cannot be involved in the shooting of the school as the distance to the actual contact line and, accordingly, to the closest Ukrainian positions is more than 2,200 m. In addition, the school building is located inside the dense environment of multi-storey buildings, while the landscape in the direction of the Ukrainian positions is closed, that is, creates an obstacle for opening fire from small arms.
The cited facts testify to the provocative nature of the actions of the Russian-occupation troops that are trying thereby to discredit the Armed Forces of Ukraine and cover up their crimes against the civilian population, the JFO Headquarters notes.
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