WASHINGTON, July 29 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine’s government troops have used short-range ballistic missiles against independence supporters in the country’s east, CNN reported Tuesday citing US officials.
“The weapons have a range of about 50 miles (80 kilometers) and pack up to 1,000-pound (454-kilogram) warheads,” the TV channel reports.
If the reports are accurate, these are “the most deadly missiles to date used in the conflict,” CNN said.
The US officials have not specified where exactly the missiles hit or what damage they caused.
One of the sources said that so far “there has been no reaction from Russia.” Another source said it is unclear if Washington shows satellite imagery of the Ukrainian firings "because these are the good guys."
Another US official said the firings are "an escalation, but Ukraine has a right to defend itself."
The Russian Foreign Ministry said earlier Tuesday the Kiev government intensified the military action against its own people after getting support from Western countries.
Moscow has described the ongoing military action as a punitive operation and has repeatedly called on Kiev to put an immediate end to the bloodshed. Russia’s Foreign Ministry has also urged the international community to intervene and investigate the crimes against humanity that occurred in Ukraine in recent months.
According to the UN report, the conflict has claimed the lives of 1,129 civilians since mid-April till July 26, and 3,442 civilians were injured.