Photo: AP Sergei Grits
Updated 08:06 p.m. Moscow Time
DONETSK, October 2 (RIA Novosti) – The city center of Donetsk, including residential areas, have come under heavy artillery bombardment, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported Thursday.
Mortar fire, which targeted a downtown street that houses several apartment buildings, was followed by shelling from Grad multiple rocket launchers.
Local residents are fleeing the streets to find shelter at home, the RIA Novosti correspondent said.
Earlier in the day, the prime minister of Ukraine’s self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) told RIA Novosti that the aggravated situation in the region may have a negative impact on the process of the Minsk talks on Ukraine.
On Wednesday, the shelling of Donetsk by Ukrainian forces left 11 people dead and around 40 injured. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned the violence.
Ukraine has been engulfed in a violent internal conflict since mid-April, when Kiev began its military operation against independence supporters in the southeastern regions of the country. The conflict claimed the lives of more than 3,500 people, according to the UN.
The sides agreed on a ceasefire at a meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine held in Minsk on September 5. Another meeting of the group resulted in a memorandum, specifying implementation of the ceasefire, which involves the creation of a 30-kilometer [18-mile] buffer zone, withdrawal of all heave weapons from residential areas and the deployment of the OSCE monitoring mission.
Since the establishment of the ceasefire regime, the conflicting sides have repeatedly accused each other of violating the agreement. However, the OSCE stated that the truce was generally holding.
DONETSK, October 1 (RIA Novosti) – About 40 people were injured during artillery shelling of the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, a local hospital spokesman told RIA Novosti Wednesday.
“About 40 injured have been taken to our hospital, some of them are in grave and extremely grave condition,” the spokesman said.
He added that three of the injured died on the way to hospital.
Earlier on Wednesday, the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), reported that 10 people died as a result of shelling of Donetsk. DPR Deputy Prime Minister of Andrei Purgin noted that 8 people were killed when a shell hit a taxi van, where they were sitting. Another 2 people died when a shell hit a school building. None of them were children.
Later, Purgin said that the death toll from the shelling had risen to 11.
Purgin also noted that, despite the ceasefire agreement signed between representatives of Kiev and the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk in the Belarusian capital of Minsk on September 5, daily shooting continues in the vicinity of the Donetsk airport.
On September 27, the head of the Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR), Igor Plotnitsky, said the trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine is prepared to take part in another round of talks in Minsk, though the exact date of the meeting has not been established.
A day earlier, Purgin said the DPR does not see the point of a new meeting in Minsk, until previous agreements have been completed.
Ukrainian Forces Intentionally Firing at Residential Areas in Donetsk: Donetsk Official
MOSCOW, October 1 (RIA Novosti) – Ukrainian forces are intentionally firing at residential areas that have led to the deaths of several civilians, the deputy prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic said on Rossiya-24 television Wednesday.
“Rocket launchers are being fired from 40 kilometers away, which is intentional strikes at residential areas from a distance,” Donetsk Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Purgin said.