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One person killed, 20 wounded in east Ukrainian city shelling - militia

July 04, 2014, 2:58 UTC+3 KRAMATORSK

Most injured people are in serious condition

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KRAMATORSK, July 04 /ITAR-TASS/. One person died and more than 20 were wounded as a result of incessant shelling of the city of Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk Region, a local militia spokesman said Thursday.

The spokesman told Itar-Tass that most injured people were in serious condition. The city’s medical institutions lack doctors and medications.

The artillery shelling of Kramatorsk by Ukrainian troops continued overnight. The spokesman said there was a lull in the early morning hours of Thursday but then strikes resumed, and were delivered at a residential building. Nearby buildings, power transmission lines and streetcar tracks were damaged.

The militia spokesman said the Ukrainian military subjected to massing shelling the city of Nikolayevka 10 kilometers from Kramatorsk and 6 kilometers from the city of Slavyansk. The Slavyansk thermal power plant was damaged as a result. Eyewitnesses said Nikolayevka was nearly completely destroyed by shells.

After a relative lull, active shelling of Kramatorsk resumed on June 30 at 22:30 local time [19:30 UTC], half an hour after Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko, who had won the May 25 early election and taken office on June 7, terminated the 10-day ceasefire between troops loyal to Kiev and militias of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s republics (Donetsk and Lugansk regions).

According to preliminary data, Grad multiple launch rocket systems were used in the shelling of Kramatorsk.

Ukraine has been in turmoil since the end of last year, when then-President Viktor Yanukovich suspended the signing of an association agreement with the European Union to study the deal more thoroughly. His decision triggered anti-government protests that often turned violent and eventually led to a coup in February 2014.

New people were brought to power in Kiev amid riots and ultranationalist rhetoric. Crimea refused to recognize the coup-imposed authorities, held a referendum and seceded from Ukraine to reunify with Russia in mid-March after some 60 years as part of Ukraine. The West and Kiev do not recognize Crimea's reunification with Russia.

Crimea’s example apparently inspired residents of Ukraine’s Southeast, who supported the country’s federalization. They started massive protests and formed militias. Since mid-April, Kiev has been conducting a punitive operation against federalization supporters.

Kiev’s operation against federalization supporters in Ukraine's embattled southeastern regions bordering Russia, which involves armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation, has already resulted in hundreds of deaths, destroyed buildings and forced tens of thousands of people to cross the border from Ukraine to Russia.

Poroshenko signed the final economic part of the agreement on association and free trade area between Ukraine and the EU on the sidelines of an EU summit held in Brussels on June 27.

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