'Heavy shelling' in Ukraine's Donetsk

Donetsk - Pro-Russian separatists said on Thursday heavy shelling hit several neighbourhoods around the rebel stronghold of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine where government forces are trying to tighten their grip.

Separatist internet news outlet Novorossiya said Ukrainian forces hit targets in the Leninsky region of Donetsk and had struck regions to the east and southwest of the city in previous days.

The news outlet said the areas hardest hit were Makiyivka's Hirnitsky neighbourhood as well as areas between Donetsk and Dokuchaevsk which lies south of the city.

There was no information on casualties. The United Nations on Wednesday put the overall death toll among Ukrainian forces, rebels and civilians at more than 2 000 since the beginning of the conflict in April when separatists seized state buildings across eastern Ukraine.

Ukrainian troops have been slowly encircling Donetsk, the regional hub with a peace-time population of nearly a million.

An act of 'cynicism'

A Reuters reporter had heard several volleys of artillery there late on Tuesday and Wednesday.

A Russian aid convoy, which has aroused Kiev suspicions of a possible covert military action, was snaking its way through southern Russia, apparently heading to Rostov-on-Don, a Reuters witness said.

Rostov-on-Don is about 60km from the Ukrainian border, parts of which are under rebel control on the Ukrainian side.

The pro-Western Ukrainian government and its Western allies accuse Moscow of arming the separatists who have set up 'people's republics' in Ukraine and say they want to join Russia. Moscow, while voicing support for the rebels, has denied it is arming them.

The Ukrainian government on Wednesday denounced the dispatch of the Russian convoy of 280 trucks as an act of "cynicism" and is insisting it be subject to tight controls and international supervision across the border into Ukraine.

Read more on: un russia ukraine
Louie Walshe 2014-08-14 05:08:00 PM
The Russian humanitarian convoy is about 30 miles from the border. Kiev still blocking entry. My feeling is it will not be long now for the next major un-re-de-escalation event to take place.
Chris Lombard 2014-08-14 08:56:38 PM
Mmmmmm, mother Russia should step in and halt ISIS advance, stop the north African growth of Islam, splinter Qaeda and the Taliban, drop food and medicine to war zones, donate funds to combat aids, tackle child pornography and slavery, target pirates hijacking ships, stop hamas rockets, distribute food to Sudan, Ethiopia and Niger. Dear Russia save the day!