Ukraine Live Day 517: Hospital in Donetsk Hit By Heavy Shelling

July 19, 2015
Residents look through a hole in a damaged building, hit by shelling, in Avdiivka | July 18, 2015. REUTERS/MAKSIM LEVIN

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Hospital In Donetsk Suffers Two Direct Hits

Reuters reportsLSaturday night, July 18, multiple shells impacted a hospital in Donetsk. One shell fell straight through the roof, and in a video report by BBC’s Tom Burridge, shrapnel is also visible in one of the walls of the building. According to OSCE deputy chief monitor Alexander Hug, Russian-backed separatists fired artillery from Donetsk city, and fire was returned by the Ukrainian military:

“[The shelling] was being conducted from within the city of Donetsk firing towards the west, towards (the) position of the Ukraine armed forces, as well as returned fire from this position into the city of Donetsk,” [Hug] added.

Ukraine crisis: Kiev and rebels trade blame over Donetsk shelling – BBC News

Ukraine's military and pro-Russian separatists have accused each other of shelling central areas of the main rebel stronghold of Donetsk. The rebels claimed that one civilian died in the overnight attacks. Ukraine said the separatists themselves opened fire on the city. International observers on the ground voiced concern over "a serious increase in tension" in Donetsk.

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Jul 20, 2015 06:27 (GMT)

But the Ukrainian government and the Russian-backed fighters have both accused the other of conducting the attack. Reuters reports:

Ukrainian military observers said they witnessed rebel missile systems “turned towards Donetsk, shelling residential areas of Donetsk, then turning and starting to fire in the direction of Ukrainian positions,” Ukrainian General Andriy Taran said in a televised briefing.

Military spokesman Serhiy Galushko said the army had intercepted rebel radio traffic that also suggested separatists planned to shell the city.

Senior rebel commander Eduard Basurin denied separatists were responsible for the attacks.

“Last time the center of Donetsk was hit was in February…I have no explanation. The Ukrainian side says we shelled ourselves. Do you believe we can shell ourselves?,” he told Reuters by phone.

Ukraine, rebels trade blame over shelling of central Donetsk

Late on Saturday, rebels said the attacks had killed one civilian, destroyed buildings and started several fires in the city. More than 6,500 people have been killed since the conflict broke out in eastern Ukraine in April last year.

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Jul 20, 2015 06:29 (GMT)

Some of the damage:
Donetsk is not the only area that witnessed heavy shelling. This video was reportedly taken in Avdiivka yesterday, controlled by the Ukrainian military, just northwest of Donetsk.
James Miller