LUHANSK, July 15. /ITAR-TASS/. Sergei Kravchenko, the mayor of Ukraine’s embattled southeastern city of Luhansk, declared a three-day mourning starting on Tuesday in memory of civilians killed in artillery attack by pro-Kiev military forces.
“Over the past three days 17 civilians were killed and 73 sustained fragmentation and gunshot wounds,” Kravchenko said in a statement. “In regard to the tragic events I have decided to declare July 15, 16 and 17 the days of mourning in Luhansk.”
The city’s shelling has caused emergency power outages in several districts of the city and has left over 4,000 families without water and more than 1,300 residents without household gas.
Emergencies specialists have discovered and deactivated 53 unexploded shells and their fragments in the city in the past twenty-four hours.Fierce fighting continues between troops loyal to Kiev and local militias in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions 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 its military operation conducted since mid-April, Kiev has used armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation. According to Ukraine’s Health Ministry, over 470 civilians have been killed and more than 1,390 wounded in the armed stand-off. Many buildings have been destroyed and tens of thousands of people have had to flee Ukraine’s embattled southeast.