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30 civilians killed, orphanage destroyed as Kiev forces hit town near Donetsk
30 civilians have been killed in overnight shelling on Maryinka, a town near Donetsk, in southeastern Ukraine, by pro-Kiev military forces, according to estimates by self-defense forces.
“30 civilians died as a result of the Ukrainian army’s shelling of Maryinka. Rubble cleanup is under way,” says the Twitter of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic.
Self-defense commander, Igor Strelkov, confirmed 30 casualties among the civilian population.
“None of the buildings used by self-defense has been damaged. None of us have been killed or injured. The civilians bore the brunt of the attacks,” he told journalists.
Earlier a RIA Novosti correspondent on the ground reported 4 civilian casualties in the overnight shelling of Maryinka, a town of 10,000 residents, where self-defense forces are currently stationed. The same source said the town was shelled again on Saturday.
Deputy Prime Minister Andrey Purgin, of the self proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, said, that overnight “the town was shelled from two flanks: by heavy-caliber weapons from the Mariupol direction and by Grad and Uragan rocket launchers and mortars from near the village of Kurakhovo,” Itar-Tass reported.
Missiles have hit apartment blocks. This footage by RT’s Ruptly video agency shows damage done to one of the neighborhoods in Maryinka. It features a completely demolished section of the fifth floor of one of the houses.
“There are 2 bodies over here – and 1 more over there. In total, they say, 6 people have been killed,” Maryinka resident, Igor, earlier told Ruptly video agency.
Among other town buildings hit in the attack are a cattle feed plant, a milk factory, a former tire plant and water purification station. The town has been left without water.
There’s also as yet unconfirmed reports of a destroyed orphanage.
“As a result of Maryinka being shelled, an orphanage was destroyed,” says Twitter of the self-proclaimed Donetsk Republic. “We are checking if there are casualties.”
Self-defense forces have also reported an airstrike by the pro-Kiev military forces on another town in the Donetsk region: Gorlovka.
“There has been a series of powerful blasts. We’re trying to find out the details,” the leader of the information center “South-Eastern Front”, Konstantin Knyrik told Interfax. He also claims the self-defense forces downed a Ukrainian military jet in response to the attack.
Meanwhile, four Ukrainian shells exploded in Russia’s Kuybyshevsky district of Rostov region, 300 meters from the border with Ukraine, Itar-Tass quoted border guard service representative Vasiliy Malaev as saying. The explosive devices came from Ukraine and caused no injuries, Malaev stated.
On Friday, several towns were shelled by Kiev’s troops, with residential areas getting under fire.
In one of the attacks, the Ukrainian air force fired rockets at the town of Dzerzhinsk in the Donetsk region and destroyed a cemetery, transformer vault and a gas pipeline.
478 civilians, including seven children, have been killed since Kiev launched a military crackdown on the eastern regions of Ukraine, Lugansk and Donetsk, which proclaimed their independence in May, the country’s deputy health minister said on Thursday.
Ukraine urges Russia not to accept orphans fleeing war zones
The children’s rights ombudsman of Ukraine demanded Russia send back Ukrainian orphans who cross the border after evacuation from battle zones in the country’s east. The ombudsman accuses Russia of “kidnapping” and violation of children’s rights.
Valeria Lutkovskaya sent an open letter to the head of Russia’s border guards, Colonel General Vladimir Kulishov, demanding the passage of orphans leaving eastern Ukrainian war zones be prohibited. She also published the letter on her Facebook page.
Lutkovskaya accused Russia of violating the rights of Ukrainian orphan children, who are being admitted to Russia “without proper paperwork.”
She claimed that armed members of the resistance movement in the Donetsk region are forcing the directors of two orphanages “at gunpoint” to let children travel to Russia. The directors of both schools allegedly refused to prepare the proper documents.
Lutkovskaya said that according to her sources, plans were afoot to send 54 children from the Maryinka Educational Orphanage and 93 children from Educational Orphanage # 1 in Donetsk to Russia on Sunday morning.
Lutkovskaya called on General Kulishov to take “decisive measures” and prevent these children from crossing the Russian border.
“Considering the fact that both Russia and Ukraine have signed the UN convention of children’s rights, Article 11 of the convention obliges signatories to take measures against unlawful transportation of children abroad,” Lutkovskaya said.
In case children get to Russia, Lutkovskaya promised to regard the issue as “kidnapping” and would apply to international organizations to have the children returned.
At this point, there is no information on whether the children have started their journey to Russia, or if the buses transporting them have crossed the Russian border.
“Ukraine’s ombudsmen requests not to let orphans into Russia, probably thinking they’d be better off bombed,” tweeted Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin.
There have been repeated reports of the Ukrainian army and national Guards shelling schools, kindergartens and orphanages over the last month.
The latest news from the Donetsk region, from which the children are being evacuated, suggests that Ukrainian troops are shelling three small cities: Ilovaisk, Seversk and Maryinka, the latter suffering a particularly heavy assault.
Maryinka is exactly the city from which 54 orphaned children have just been evacuated, to gain a safe haven in Russia.
30 civilians were killed on Saturday by pro-Kiev military forces in overnight shelling on Maryinka, a town near Donetsk, in southeastern Ukraine. There is also, as yet, unconfirmed reports that the Maryinka orphanage building has been destroyed.
In the neighboring city of Lugansk, six civilians died on Saturday in shelling by Kiev’s troops and eight more were taken to hospital.
The Sails of Hope orphanage was severely damaged by artillery fire in the city of Slavyansk in eastern Ukraine in late May. Fortunately, there were no casualties among the children, all of whom were successfully evacuated from the building on May 19.
1 killed, 2 injured: Russia vows response to Ukraine shelling Russian city
An artillery shell from Ukraine has hit a private house in the Rostov region of Russia, killing a citizen and leaving two more injured. The Russian Foreign Ministry promises heavy consequences.
Reportedly up to six mortar shells exploded on Sunday in the small Russian town of Donetsk, which has the same name as the Ukrainian city and is situated right on the Ukrainian border.
Ukraine’s charge d’affaires in Russia has been summoned to the Foreign Ministry where he was handed a note of protest in the strongest terms.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has called the shelling “an obviously aggressive act” on Ukraine’s part and warned it could have “irreversible consequences” with Kiev holding full responsibility for the provocation.
Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin promised a “rigorous and concrete answer” to the shelling of Russian territory that resulted in the senseless loss of life.
“We’re currently evaluating the situation, and the facts we’ve learnt risk a dangerous escalation of the tensions on the [Russian-Ukrainian] border, which puts our citizens in high danger,” Karasin told RIA news agency, stressing that harsh reaction would follow only after detailed analysis of the situation.
The National Security Council of Ukraine has already declared that Kiev’s troops involved in the operation in the east of the country have nothing to do with the shelling incident.
“Ukrainian troops are definitely not shelling the territory of the Russian Federation. We did not shoot,” said Andrey Lysenko, official representative of the information center of the NSCU.
Authorities in the Rostov region have confirmed the death of a 46-year-old man and injuries to four civilians, including two elderly women.
The man who died in a shell explosion was a father of four. One of the injured women suffered a shell fragment wound in the leg; another woman, reportedly 80-years-old, was shell-shocked in her house across the street from the explosion site.
Russia’s Donetsk has a population of approximately 49,000 citizens and has the Donetsk-Izvarino border entry point in the city on the Russian-Ukrainian border.
There have been a number of incidents lately involving Ukrainian troops deliberately shelling Russian border posts.
On Saturday a vehicle, carrying a squad of Russian border guards, came under fire from the Ukrainian side at the frontier between Russia and Ukraine.
On June 28, mortar shells from Ukraine hit Russian territory, damaging a building at the Gukovo border checkpoint and creating potholes in the ground in two villages.
The week before, on June 20, the Russian Novoshakhtinsk checkpoint in the Rostov region was shelled by mortars, Russia’s Border Service said.
Until today’s fatality, there had been no casualties, except for one Russian border guard suffering a head wound from a shell fragment.
The Ukrainian army has sometimes shelled border checkpoints, while refugees from Ukraine were trying to get through passport control to find shelter on Russian territory.
The number of incidents involving Ukrainian artillery shelling on Russian territory has increased of late. On July 3, the Novoshakhtinsk border checkpoint was shelled again. The next day, engineers and investigators, who came to disarm unexploded ordnances on the Russian side, came under mortar fire from Ukraine at the Donetsk border checkpoint. On July 5, about ten mortar shells exploded near the same border checkpoint.