Wednesday 13 December 2017

Up to 40 killed - as fighting rages on in Ukraine

A woman wipes a tear outside of her home in the town of Svitlodarsk, Ukraineafter heavy shelling destroyed the local hospital, and damaged basic infrastructure, cutting off electricity, water and household gas supplies (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
A woman wipes a tear outside of her home in the town of Svitlodarsk, Ukraineafter heavy shelling destroyed the local hospital, and damaged basic infrastructure, cutting off electricity, water and household gas supplies (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Natalia Zinets

Up to 40 people including soldiers and civilians have been killed as fighting raged in eastern Ukraine yesterday.

Russian-backed separatists used artillery fire to try to dislodge government forces from a strategic rail hub after peace talks collapsed.

Hopes of easing the situation evaporated on Saturday with Ukraine's representative and separatist envoys accusing the other of sabotaging negotiations.

"Fighting continues across all sections of the frontline," Kiev military spokesman Volodymyr Polyovy said in a briefing, adding that at least 13 soldiers had been killed in the past 24 hours.

Other Ukrainian authorities said at least 13 civilians had also died in violent attacks.

Rebels confirmed 13 dead in their ranks.

The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, which took part in the talks in Minsk, Belarus, along with envoys from Ukraine and Russia, said rebel delegates had not been ready to discuss key points of a peace plan.

It said rebels had instead pushed for a revision of a ceasefire plan agreed in Minsk last September.

Irish Independent

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