KIEV, January 24. /TASS/. As many as 30 people were killed in the shelling of Mariupol on Saturday, the Donetsk region state administration cited data as of 18:30 Moscow time.
“A total of 23 people, including one child, died instantly. Ninety-three people, including eight children, were hurt. Seventy-five people were taken to hospitals. Seven, including one child, died of wounds in hospital,” the administration said.
Peace process in Donbass has stalled Ukraine is to blame for that, Denis Pushilin, who represents the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic at peace talks, said on Saturday.
“The Ukrainian side has done everything it could to stop the negotiating process on the settlement of the conflict in Donbass,” he told the Donetsk News Agency. “How can we try to reach an agreement with people who are responsible for neither their words nor their signatures and who are vividly demonstrating that they are incapable of conducting any talks.”.
The Contact Group on Ukraine has called on parties to the Minsk talks to meet as soon as possible, preferably early next week, according to a statement by the Contact Group published on Saturday after an urgent meeting in Kiev.
The Contact Group “urges that the ongoing hostilities in eastern Ukraine should be stopped immediately and all signatories of the Minsk documents meet for direct talks as soon as possible, at the latest by the beginning of next week,” the document says.
Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko has cut short his visit to Saudi Arabia to attend an extraordinary meeting of the Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council on Sunday, the press service of the Ukrainian president said on Saturday.
“I am returning to Ukraine to meet with the National Security and Defence Council and to coordinate our further steps,” the press service quoted Poroshenko as saying.
Earlier on Saturday, Poroshenko called an emergency meeting of the Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council on January 25 “to work out and take extra steps over the quickly deteriorating situation in eastern regions.”
In a statement over the shelling of the city of Mariupol, Poroshenko said it was “not just a terrorist attack,” but a “crime against humanity.”.