(AA) – The Russian Foreign Ministry has condemned Tuesday’s deadly artillery attack in Ukraine, which left 12 civilians dead and 18 wounded, in a statement posted on its website Wednesday evening.
“The Volnovakha tragedy is further proof of the need for continuous efforts to promote a peaceful political solution to the Ukrainian crisis,” said the Foreign Ministry. “It is unacceptable to use criminal provocations as a pretext for escalating tensions, fanning militaristic hysteria and resuming hostilities in Ukraine’s southeast, causing further loss of life and hardships for its people.”
“We offer our condolences to the families and friends of the victims and wish the wounded a speedy recovery,” reads the statement.
The statement further went on to suggest that the attack was some kind of provocation, aimed at re-igniting the conflict in the east of Ukraine.
On Tuesday, a bus carrying passengers from separatist-controlled territory was hit by an artillery rocket while passing a Ukrainian military checkpoint near Volnovakha. Ukrainian authorities said the rocket attack originated from separatist territory somewhere in the region of Dokuchaievsk.
The incident in Volnovakha occurred during renewed fighting between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists in the Donetsk region of Ukraine. The fighting marked an end to a relatively peaceful cease-fire, which had begun last December.