MOSCOW, June 18 (RAPSI) – Russia’s Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case against Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov and Dnipropetrovsk Governor Ihor Kolomoisky, committee spokesman Vladimir Markin told journalists on Wednesday.

Avakov and Kolomoisky are suspects under Russian articles on “the masterminding of murder, the use of prohibited methods and means of warfare, abduction, and the hindering of legitimate activities of journalists.”

The Investigative Committee believes that Avakov, acting in cooperation with Kolomoisky and “other high-ranking officials in the Ukrainian Defense Ministry,” “organized a military operation for the purpose of killing civilians.”

Over the 12 days since the inauguration of President Petro Poroshenko, the military operation, which began in Slavyansk in the Donetsk Region, has spread to the entire Donbas area, including the cities of Mariupol, Kramatorsk and Gorlovka.

Dozens of people have been killed in fighting in southeastern Ukraine. The Ukrainian Healthcare Ministry announced a week ago that the death toll includes over 200 civilians, some of them women and children.