Separatist shelling causes four deaths in eastern Ukraine

Ukrainian military says shelling by separatists killed four, while separatists accuse Ukraine of starting incident

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The Ukrainian military announced on Saturday that shelling by the pro-Russian separatists caused the deaths of three civilians in eastern Ukraine.

Ukrainian military spokesman Andriy Lysenko gave a briefing on television, saying a Ukrainian soldier was killed and four more were injured due to the shelling.

Lysenko mentioned the timing of the attacks and said that "the vast majority of shelling and armed attacks by the rebels take place at night to avoid attracting the attention of international observers.”

Lysenko said that pro-Russian separatists also attacked urban areas near north-west Donetsk.

Meanwhile, the separatists pointed a finger at Russia over the bombardment saying it was the Russian troops started the conflict by attacking Krasnohorivka town.

Russia and Ukraine have been in controversy ever since months of pro-EU demonstrations in Kiev forced former pro-Russian leader Viktor Yanukovych to flee the country in February 2014.

The West accuses Russia of supporting the separatist groups in eastern Ukraine and providing them weapons, while Russia denies the claims.

Nearly 1.4 million people have been internally displaced in Ukraine since the conflict began in March 2014. According to the UNICEF, at least 174,000 of them are children.

Ukraine’s separatist war cooled after the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) mediated ceasefire was sealed in the Belarussian capital of Minsk, but the fragile peace has been sporadically violated by both Kiev forces and the separatists.

The Kiev government has vowed to protect its territorial integrity as Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has reiterated several times since the conflict stated that his country will retake the breakaway regions.  

The Ukrainian leadership still suspects Moscow is not abiding with the armistice agreed in Minsk since violations have recently increased again in the Donbass region.

Russia denies the allegations by Kiev and says that its soldiers have only been patrolling Russia’s porous border with the eastern Ukraine.

The rebels accused Ukrainian forces of intensifying attacks and firing at civilian areas.

More than 6,500 people have been killed since the conflict broke out in eastern Ukraine in April last year. Attacks have lessened since a peace agreement was brokered in Minsk, Belarus, five months ago, but both sides accuse each other of violations.


TRTWorld and agencies