Ukraine crisis: Civilians continue to be killed despite diplomatic efforts to stop the … – Telegraph.co.uk

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Ukraine crisis: Civilians continue to be killed despite diplomatic efforts to stop the … – Telegraph.co.ukby wpjljron.Ukraine crisis: Civilians continue to be killed despite diplomatic efforts to stop the … – Telegraph.co.ukUkraine’s National Security and Defence Council said on Sunday that government forces had repelled rebel attacks on checkpoints and Ukrainian positions near Debaltseve and Chornukhyne, a nearby settlement, after “massive firing” by the separatists with Grad rockets, artillery, mortars and small arms. The council said more than 350 people were evacuated from government-controlled areas of […]

Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council said on Sunday that government
forces had repelled rebel attacks on checkpoints and Ukrainian positions
near Debaltseve and Chornukhyne, a nearby settlement, after “massive firing”
by the separatists with Grad rockets, artillery, mortars and small arms.

The council said more than 350 people were evacuated from
government-controlled areas of Donetsk region.

Kiev also announced its forces had “destroyed” 70 rebel fighters and 14
military vehicles, including two howitzers, two Grad rocket launchers and
four tanks.

The Ukrainian military had “received the latest evidence of Russian aggression
against Ukraine” by seizing several Shmel portable rocket launchers which it
said were only used by the Russian army.

The claims could not be independently verified.

Local authorities in Donetsk, the city which is the separatists’ stronghold,
said the situation was “tense”, and cannonades of incoming artillery fire
had been heard all night. Several neighbourhoods were hit and one blast blew
the windows out of an old people’s home.

In total, fresh fighting left 12 civilians dead, separatist and Kiev
authorities reported, with 12 Ukrainian troops also killed in the last 24
hours.


Angela Merkel and François Hollande at their meeting with Petro Poroshenko,
the Ukrainian president, in Kiev on Thursday

Last week, Human Rights Watch blamed rebel forces for two recent attacks with
unguided rockets which killed at least 41 civilians, but said that a series
of other assaults with explosive weapons “appear to implicate government
forces”.

Besides erratic shelling, the fighting has led to dire consequences for
civilians living in the war zone.

Almost 7,000 people in Donetsk were without gas on Sunday, food and medical
supplies are dwindling in hospitals and the Ukrainian government has
introduced a tiresome and bureaucratic permit system for crossing the front
line that hinders businesses.

Denis Pushilin, a rebel representative, said on Sunday that he hoped the talks
between Angela
Merkel
, François
Hollande
and Vladimir
Putin
in Minsk would bring agreement on a ceasefire and a
demilitarised zone between the warring sides.

Mr Pushilin said that it was “extremely important” to the separatists that
observers or peacekeepers who would police such a zone were already involved
in the peace process – “that is, Russia and the Organisation for Security
and Cooperation in Europe”.

He added: “This could be our only chance to stop the hostilities and prevent
them breaking out again.”

Source Article from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/11398949/Ukraine-crisis-Civilians-continue-to-be-killed-despite-diplomatic-efforts-to-stop-the-fighting.html

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