Russia opens criminal case after reporting shelling from Ukraine

MOSCOW, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- Russia's Investigative Committee said Saturday that it has initiated a criminal case against an attempted murder after "Ukrainian paramilitaries" shelled the border area of Russia's Rostov region.

This handout photo released by Ukrainian Joint Forces Operation, shows a view of a kindergarten building after alleged shelling by insurgent in Stanytsia Luhanska, eastern Ukraine, February 17, 2022. (Photo: CFP)

From 5:00 to 6:00 a.m. local time (0200 to 0300 GMT) on Saturday, unidentified persons on the territory of Ukraine attacked the border area of the Rostov region by using a multiple launch rocket system, the committee said in a statement.

No casualties among the civilians were reported, and an investigation is underway, it added.

Explosions were reported in the border area of the Rostov region as a large number of refugees are fleeing from Ukraine's Donbass to Russia to escape a possible war.

On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the acting head of the emergencies ministry to urgently fly to the Rostov region to organize on-site work on providing refugees with accommodation, hot meals and other necessities, including medical care.

Hours after the shelling was reported, Sputnik reported that the Ukrainian foreign ministry denied the allegation, saying Kiev made no such attacks.