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East Ukraine under massive artillery fire

August 19, 2014, 13:09 UTC+3 LUHANSK/DONETSK
In addition to the absence of water, local residents are experiencing food shortages
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LUHANSK/DONETSK, August 19./ITAR-TASS/. The Ukrainian army’s artillery delivered massive artillery strikes on large populated areas and industrial enterprises in the Donetsk and Luhansk Regions in east Ukraine on Tuesday.

The Ukrainian military’s howitzers and multiple launch rocket systems shelled residential quarters in Donetsk, Horlivka, Yenakiyevo and Makeyevka.

The Donetsk city council said that artillery shells had exploded in a residential neighborhood near the airport and destroyed a local school while local residents were hiding in basements and bomb shelters.

The shelling started on Monday evening and continued until Tuesday morning. Water supply has been disrupted in the area.

Donetsk People’s Republic Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko earlier said that the Ukrainian army’s shelling had destroyed electricity transmission lines supplying power to water filtration stations.

“Teams have been dispatched to restore water supply to populated areas and there are plans to use reserve water reservoirs,” Zakharchenko said, adding that “facilities were located on the territory occupied by the Ukrainian army,” which complicated restoration efforts.

The situation in the Donetsk Region is close to critical due to incessant shelling. In addition to the absence of water, local residents are experiencing food shortages. Food stocks in stores are running out while supplies have almost stopped. The prices of available food products have jumped almost 50%.

Local residents have to stand in line to get bread, milk and drinking water, eye-witnesses said.

The Samsonovskaya-Zapadnaya coalmine in the Luhansk Region has halted work over artillery shelling, the press office of the Metinvest company reported on Tuesday.

“The mine’s work has been suspended. Specialists are restoring power supply to switch to a regime of maintaining the mine’s vital systems. The operations headquarters and the special commission are assessing the scope of damage,” the press office said.

The Ukrainian army’s shelling has also halted production at the Yenakiyevo metallurgical plant, the Yenakiyevo coke and chemical enterprise and the Khartsyz pipe factory. The Avdeyevka coke and chemical plant remains without power supply.

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