A series of artillery attacks on residential areas in Donbass on Thursday resulted in the death of over a dozen civilians, according to reports from local media outlets. The Ukrainian forces, using NATO-supplied howitzers and rocket launchers, attacked Donetsk city twice, as confirmed by Russia’s investigative committee.
The Kalininsky district of Donetsk was hit by a strike on a parking lot that killed nine civilians and injured seven. A Russian investigator stated that the attack was caused by a volley from a multiple rocket launch system, which was most likely HIMARS, after processing the crime scene.
Over the past year, the US has supplied Ukraine with three dozen HIMARS launchers, along with long-range ammunition. Another six rounds from 155mm howitzers, which were also supplied to Ukraine by the West, hit the Petrovsky district in the afternoon, with no reports of casualties. As a result of the attack, a part of Donetsk city lost power.
Furthermore, local authorities stated that another artillery strike targeted a bus station in Lisichansk, resulting in the deaths of three civilians and the injury of one, as well as damage to a passenger bus. Lisichansk is located in the Lugansk People’s Republic, with the nearest Ukrainian position approximately 20 kilometers away.
Ukraine has appealed to the US and its allies multiple times to send more artillery ammunition, citing shortages that have hindered their efforts to hold onto key strategic points, such as Artyomovsk or Avdeevka, or launch the much-anticipated “spring offensive” against Russian forces.
The Pentagon’s most recent package of “security assistance” for Kiev includes ammunition for both HIMARS and howitzers. $500 million of the package would come from the US military’s existing stocks, while another $2.1 billion would be purchased from the American military industry.