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LUGANSK, July 14, /ITAR-TASS/. A few dozen militiamen of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) in Ukraine’s embattled Southeast died on Sunday when the locality of Alexandrovka came under mortar fire, the Novorossiya news agency reported.
“During the second day of fighting near Alexandrovka, mortar shells hit an Ural truck with LPR fighters. Some 30 people died,” the report said.
Fighting in the vicinity of the Ukrainian border-crossing point of Izvarino and the village of Smolyaninovo continues. The localities of Metelkino and Sukhodolsk are being shelled. Clashes with Ukrainian troops are underway in Roskoshnoye, Stepnoy and Tarasovka. All the localities are in the Lugansk Region.
“Ukrainian army units are trying to break through to the nearby Lugansk Airport from the west via Tarasovka,” Novorossiya said. According to its data, the Ukrainian military use the Grad multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS).
Meanwhile, the press service of the LPR said a woman injured during mortar shelling of the Yuzhny (southern) quarter in Lugansk’s southwest has died.
Subversive groups of the Ukrainian armed forces continued their activities in Lugansk. Mortar fire was being delivered from the Kamennobrodsky District to the district adjacent to the Zarya militia battalion, the press service said.
The LPR said the Ukrainian Air Force made an air strike on a roadblock near the Yubileynoye locality. No one was killed or injured.
The LPR said troops loyal to Kiev “continue the maneuver they started in the beginning of the day, cutting Lugansk from southwest. Ukrainian troops entered Sabovka. Heavy fighting was underway in Rodakovo [both localities are to the west of Lugansk].”
The Ukrainian army unit involved in the maneuver then divided: one part of it continued surrounding the city trying to occupy commanding points, and the other part, numbering some 100 items of hardware, including tanks and self-propelled guns, headed to the Lugansk Airport, the LPR said.
Troops loyal to Kiev and local militias in the southeastern Ukrainian Donetsk and Lugansk regions are involved in fierce clashes as the Ukrainian armed forces are conducting a military operation to regain control over the breakaway regions, which on May 11 proclaimed their independence at local referendums.
During the military operation, conducted since mid-April, Kiev has used armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation. According to Ukraine’s Health Ministry, 478 civilians have been killed and 1,392 wounded in it. Many buildings have been destroyed and tens of thousands of people have had to flee Ukraine’s embattled Southeast.
South Ossetia has recognized the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic and the Lugansk People's Republic. No other countries have followed suit so far.