Fresh fighting kills 3 in Ukraine

  • 20/07/2015
(file, Reuters)
(file, Reuters)

Two civilians and a soldier have been killed in the latest outbreak of fighting in eastern Ukraine.

Pro-Russian rebels and the government confirmed the deaths on Sunday (local time), with Kiev warning of a "deteriorating" situation in the rebel-held city of Donetsk.

A man was killed during shelling on Saturday night in Donetsk and a female doctor was injured when a shell hit the nearby N23 hospital, rebel authorities told AFP. Another man was injured in the eastern rebel-controlled suburb of Makiivka.

Eduard Basurin, an official with the separatist forces, accused the Ukrainian military of firing on the area from the village of Pisky near Donetsk airport.

Basurin accused the government forces of using 152 mm artillery, which falls within the category of heavy weapons that both sides are supposed to have pulled back from the frontline under a February ceasefire.

The army, for its part, said one civilian had been killed and several others injured during fighting in Vodiane, also near the airport, and also accused the rebels of using a tank and heavy guns proscribed by the truce, namely 152 and 122 mm artillery.

A Ukrainian soldier had also been killed and seven injured in the last 24 hours, mainly on Donetsk's western outskirts, military spokesman Oleksandr Motuzianyk told a press briefing.

"The situation around Donetsk has significantly deteriorated and fighting in the area around Pisky and Avdiyika is taking place practically 24 hours a day," he added.

Weapons with a calibre of over 100mm were supposed to have been removed from the battle field under the ceasefire agreement signed in the Belarus capital Minsk in February that aimed to end a conflict that has killed more than 6500 people since April 2014.

According to independent observers on the ground, this part of the peace accord was never implemented.

On Sunday the self-proclaimed People's Republics of Donetsk and neighbouring Lugansk said they had begun removing weapons under 100 mm, as part of what they called their "own peace initiative".