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Donetsk comes under heavy artillery fire

August 25, 2014, 12:10 UTC+3 DONETSK
Meanwhile, the local militias continued their operations to destroy the Ukrainian army’s subversive and reconnaissance groups in the city
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© EPA/IVAN BOBERSKY

DONETSK, August 25. /ITAR-TASS/. The Ukrainian army resumed shelling of east Ukraine’s Donetsk on Monday morning, with a major strike delivered against the city’s outskirts.

Heavy artillery fire is presumably coming from the city’s airport controlled by the Ukrainian military, eyewitnesses said.

Donetsk quickly became deserted after a military parade held by self-defense fighters on Sunday. Public transport almost did not work and all entertainment outlets were actually closed.

Meanwhile, the local militias continued their operations to destroy the Ukrainian army’s subversive and reconnaissance groups in the city. In particular, they spotted and killed two out of three snipers, all of them women, on the roof of a shopping mall. The third sniper managed to escape.

The local militia also detained a group that was installing radio beacons in the city. The captive Ukrainians said during an interrogation they had been promised 3,000 rubles ($100) for each radio beacon installed in crowded areas.

Intensive fighting near the settlement of Yelenovka 20 km (12 miles) south of Donetsk has paralyzed the work of the Yuzhny bus terminal. All bus rides along the Mariupol-Donetsk route, including international rides, were cancelled on Sunday.

“I wanted to send my grandfather to Russia. Our bus scheduled to go from Donetsk to Krasnodar at 4:40 p.m. Moscow time was cancelled. We were told that we could get a full refund for our tickets. I didn’t receive a definite answer when I asked about whether bus traffic would be resumed,” a local female resident called Yekaterina said.

A lot of people stayed at the bus terminal until Sunday night. Buses running at short distances along the routes to Makeyevka and Khartsyzsk that had not yet been closed also had to stay at the bus terminal on Sunday.

In this situation, private tax drivers raised their fares several-fold. They were charging almost 300 rubles ($8) for a ride from Donetsk to Volnovakha compared with the standard fare of 75 rubles ($3).

The city’s second bus terminal, Krytiy Rynok, was 80% empty on Sunday. Only 5 route taxi cars could be seen running in the city.

The eastern Ukrainian Donetsk and Luhansk regions have been the scene of fierce clashes between troops loyal to Kiev and local militias as the Ukrainian armed forces are conducting a military operation to regain control over the breakaway territories, which on May 11 proclaimed their independence at local referendums and now call themselves the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s republics.

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