SLOVIANSK, June 09. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine’s National Guard once in a while resumes the shelling of Sloviansk and the adjacent villages, Stella Khorosheva, spokesperson for Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, the people’s mayor of Sloviansk, told ITAR-TASS on Monday.
“We have recently received a phone call from people in one of the city neighborhoods. They told us that the shelling had resumed. They did not have time for details because they had to go down to shelters. The city has problems with mobile communications. One needs to be patient to get through. That is why reports about the operational situation are coming slowly,” Khorosheva explained.
She described the general situation in the city as complicated but added that self-defense forces still had control of Sloviansk.
At the same time, it is extremely difficult for ordinary people who want to leave Sloviansk to get out of the city. “The Ukrainian troops receive information through their own channels when each new group of evacuees is ready to go and open fire. When a group of children was getting on a bus and was loading their luggage on June 8, tree branches broken by shell splinters started falling on their heads. The children had to lie down to save themselves,” the mayor’s spokesperson stressed.“There is a sponsor who is ready to pay for a holiday package to Crimea for everyone who wants to be evacuated. But the city is short of vehicles. It has only inter-city buses,” Khorosheva went on to say.
She added it was next to impossible to take the wounded out of the city. The Ukrainian troops are shooting even lightly wounded men. On June 3, they shot the wounded and all ill men without local residence in a hospital in Krasnyi Liman, a populated locality near Sloviansk.
The city’s central square, two refueling stations (one near the bus terminal and their other right behind its building) and the White Night cafe behind the building of the city central executive committee were destroyed during the artillery shelling that was under way during the night and the day before. “The executive committee building was on fire. The village of Semyonovka is a dead place. Nothing living has been left there,” Khorosheva stressed.
“Peaceful civilians fall from shell fragments and mines right at home. There are casualties and they are growing every day. Newspapers write that most of the population has been evacuated. But Sloviansk has over 100,000 people. So, the evacuation of even several thousand people does not change the situation radically,” Khorosheva explained.
The Ukrainian troops resumed the shelling of Sloviansk and the adjacent villages early on Monday, a representative of self-defense forces told ITAR-TASS. A fighter jet circled over the city.
The day before, the Kiev-controlled military units used the Grad-1 multiple rocket launchers to shell the center of Sloviansk, Denis Pushilin, the head of the presidium of the Supreme Council of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, told ITAR-TASS on Monday. Four people, including a child, died in the shelling. There were many people in the city center when the shelling started. A festive service had just ended in the nearby church.
Sloviansk is suffering serious problems with drinking water. The damaged water pipe has not yet been restored. The same is true of electricity. The people of Sloviansk have been out of electricity for almost a week,” a representative of the Sloviansk self-defense force told ITAR-TASS. He also added that all re-fuelling stations in the city were closed.