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Ukraine’s military shell Semyonovka village near Sloviansk despite ceasefire

June 24, 2014, 19:33 UTC+3 SLOVIANSK
The Ukrainian military also delivered mortar fire during last night, the self-defense militia said
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Infographics Who fights in Ukraine Who fights in Ukraine
The political crisis in Ukraine led to the formation of many armed groups on its territory. Infographics by ITAR-TASS
SLOVIANSK, June 24. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine’s military again opened artillery fire on the village of Semyonovka near the town of Sloviansk in east Ukraine, despite a ceasefire declared by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, local self-defense forces said on Tuesday.

The Ukrainian military also delivered mortar fire during last night, the self-defense militia said.

The shelling prevented the local self-defense militia from withdrawing the bodies of dead fighters from the scene. Their previous attempts failed due to incessant artillery fire by the Ukrainian military.

“Smoke from explosions and a cloud of dust were seen above the village,” a representative of the local self-defense militia told ITAR-TASS.


Russian TV crew comes under mortar fire

In addition, a camera crew of Russia’s Channel One came under mortar fire near the besieged city of Sloviansk in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region but no journalists were injured, the TV channel’s website reported.

It is unclear who opened fire and whether there were any casualties or destruction, it added.


Violence continues near Sloviansk

Two people were killed when the Ukrainian military shelled Semyonovka on Monday. Earlier reports said that several self-defense militiamen had been wounded.

“Not a single building has been left untouched in the village. They [the Ukrainian military] have destroyed everything, including factories and a railway crossing,” a self-defense fighter said.

“The houses have been abandoned and no one is gathering harvest in vegetable gardens.”

The besieged town of Sloviansk is still out of water and local shops and pharmacies work only partially.

“The choice of medications is limited,” the self-defense militia said.

Consultations were held on Monday evening in Donetsk on the implementation of a peace plan in east Ukraine. Prime Minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic Alexander Borodai said the self-defense forces of southeast Ukraine had undertaken to cease their fire until June 27.

“In response to Kiev’s ceasefire, we undertake to stop fire and combat operations. The ceasefire is effective until June 27,” Borodai said, adding the movement of troops on the territory of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics would also be ceased.


Poroshenko declares ceasefire

Poroshenko’s decree on the unilateral ceasefire in east Ukraine came into effect at 11:00 p.m. Moscow time (7:00 p.m. GMT) on June 20. The document said that the truce would continue until June 27 but “the military would open retaliatory fire, if armed attacks are made on Ukrainian military formations or civilians.”

Kiev’s punitive operation against federalization supporters in Ukraine’s southeast involving armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation has claimed hundreds of lives, including civilians, left buildings destroyed and damaged and forced tens of thousands to flee Ukraine.

The Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which border on Russia, held referendums on May 11, in which most voters supported independence from Ukraine.

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