Over 130 miners trapped in DPR mines after Ukrainian shelling
The DPR energy ministry revealed that ventilation shafts in two coal mines were powered down after shelling by Ukrainian troops, causing over 130 miners to be trapped underground.
The Donetsk People's Republic Ministry of Coal and Energy confirmed Saturday that more than 130 mine workers are trapped underground at the Chelyuskintsev and Skochinsky coal mines in the republic, as a result of Ukrainian shelling.
The ministry indicated that the ventilation shafts were powered down as a result of shelling by the Ukrainian troops.
On Friday, the DPR energy ministry said the Chelyuskintsev mine had been shelled by the Ukrainian troops. A shell fell on the territory of the enterprise.
"On March 19, as a result of yet another shelling by the Ukrainian forces, at 12:40 p.m. [10:40 GMT], the Chelyuskintsev mine (except for the main ventilation shaft) and the second western ventilation shaft of the Skochinsky mine of the DPR State Unitary Enterprise 'Donetsk Coal Energy Company' were powered down," the ministry explained.
According to preliminary data, 80 workers were trapped underground at the Chelyuskintsev mine and 85 at the Skochinsky mine.
Ukrainian military shelled hospital in Donetsk
It is noteworthy that the Ukrainian troops shelled a hospital in Donetsk, injuring two medical workers and one civilian, the DPR Territorial Defense Headquarters said on Friday.
The spokesperson for the People's Defense Units of the Donetsk People's Republic, Eduard Basurin, confirmed today, Friday, that Russia has established a no-fly zone over Donbass to protect its airspace from attacks.
Putin: Goal of Spec Op to set Donbass free from genocide
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that the main goal of the Russian special operation in Ukraine is setting free the people of Donbass from the "genocide" being waged against them.
During an address in Luzhniki Stadium, Putin added that "[the Donbass residents], who did not agree with the  coup [in Kiev], were immediately hit with punitive military operations. A blockade was immediately put in place against these people. They were subjected to systematic shelling, airstrikes. This is what is called 'genocide'."
Putin went on to say that Ukraine will be demilitarized and de-Nazified and that all "war criminals" responsible for the bloodshed in Donbass will face punishment.
Furthermore, he clarified that it was the only way to put an end to the "genocide" in that area.