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Several houses destroyed in Sloviansk hit by massive artillery strikes

May 23, 2014, 14:22 UTC+3 23 23/5
Mortar firing at Sloviansk and neighboring villages continued for the past week
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© EPA/MAXIM SHIPENKOV
© EPA/MAXIM SHIPENKOV
© EPA/MAXIM SHIPENKOV
©  EPA/MAXIM SHIPENKOV
© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Pochuev
© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Pochuev
© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Pochuev
© AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko
©  EPA/MAXIM SHIPENKOV
© EPA/MAXIM SHIPENKOV

SLOVIANSK, May 23./ITAR-TASS/. Several houses were destroyed when Sloviansk and its suburbs were hit by massive artillery fire overnight, a member of the local people's police force told ITAR-TASS on Friday.

Ukrainian government forces particularly intensively fired at the village of Semyonovka, he said. A house burned up after it was hit by a direct strike. The family left the house the day before, and thus survived. A neighboring house was partly destroyed after a shell exploded right on its porch. Another house near the centre of Sloviansk was partly destroyed when a shell exploded near the gates, the source said.

Nobody was hurt in the attacks, the self-defence headquarters reported.

The city was shelled intermittently. The firing began on Thursday night and then stopped. It resumed at about 05:00 Moscow time on Friday. However, intensive submachine gun and machine gun fire was heard from areas near Sloviansk, near Kramatorsk and the television tower on Karachun Hill, where units of the Ukrainian National Guards and the Ukrainian armed forces are deployed.

The situation was calm later on Friday morning. Schools and kindergartens worked as usual. Public transport in the city and interurban bus services to Kramatorsk, Donetsk and Kharkiv were operating.

Mortar firing at Sloviansk and neighboring villages continued for the past week. Fire was aimed at various targets, including residential sites. The headquarters described such attacks as psychological pressure on the population people practically cannot rest because of the shelling.

Parliament-appointed acting President of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov said earlier that the authorities were prepared for a final stage of the special operation in the east of Ukraine. On Wednesday, Turchinov held a conference with Ukrainian law enforcers, taking part in the special operation, at a military camp near Sloviansk.

Over the past week the Ukranian military and national guards have been incessantly shelling Sloviansk from artillery guns. Buildings have been destroyed on the city outskirts, in the adjoining settlements and in the city center.

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