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With 2,200 buildings destroyed, town of Gorlovka becomes hottest spot of Donbas

August 21, 2015, 9:57 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The situation in east Ukraine has escalated in the past few weeks, with recent reports saying Kiev forces are planning an offensive in order to encircle Donetsk

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Destructions in Gorlovka

Destructions in Gorlovka

© Nikolay Muravyov/TASS

MOSCOW, August 21. /TASS/. The city of Gorlovka in south-eastern Ukraine has been recognized as the hottest spot along the line of contact in the Donbas region. According to the City Hall, 164 civilians were killed there between January and July in the artillery bombardments by the Ukrainian Armed Forces, 501 people were wounded. The city saw the greatest number of children’s deaths from shell bursts - 16 in the first six months of 2015. The artillery bombardments are registered daily, as a rule, during the night.

More than 2,200 buildings in Gorlovka have been fully or partially destroyed by the shelling, head the city administration Roman Khramenkov told Donetsk News Agency.

"In Gorlovka, 1,978 houses in the private sector have been destroyed and about 198 multi-storey houses, 80 schools and hospital, 11 culture and recreation centers have been damaged," he said. "At this point we are not talking about the enterprises that have been damaged, as we do not have access to them due to different forms of ownership."

According to Khramenkov, because of the magnitude of destruction the restoration of the city depends on the regular supplies of construction materials.

Kiev's grouping of troops built up to 90,000 ahead of offensive

The situation in east Ukraine has escalated throughout the recent weeks. 

According to the self-proclaimed Donetsk republic, on August 20 the grouping of pro-Kiev armed units in eastern Ukraine totaled 90,000 men and officers, 450 tanks, 203 salvo artillery units, and five Tochka-U missile complexes. The troops are concentrated in four sectors - Mariupol, Donetsk, Debaltsevo, and Luhansk.

The spokesman for the defense ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk republic said on Thursday that the militia have information that the Ukrainian armed forces are preparing an offensive in the Donetsk Region in east Ukraine.

"Information has been received about the plan of forthcoming actions by the Ukrainian army from a source in the Ukrainian General Staff and, no matter how strange this may seem, there are still true officers there who do not want to fight against their own people," Eduard Basurin said at a briefing in the press center of the Donetsk News Agency.

According to Basurin, the Ukrainian military will launch an offensive in the Mariupol and Debaltsevo directions after "artillery shelling of the DPR’s positions."

"Kiev plans to deliver two converging blows in the direction of the settlement of Uspenka to defeat the DPR and advance to the border with Russia and subsequently prevent civilians from reaching the Russian territory," Basurin said.

"Along with this, two groupings [of Kiev’s forces] are intended to launch an offensive in the Donetsk direction north and south of Donetsk towards Ilovaisk, close the circle around the republic’s capital and encircle the city," the spokesman said.

In the Luhansk direction, Kiev’s forces are planning to hold separate combat operations against the militia of the Luhansk People’s Republic to prevent their redeployment to provide support to the DPR, the spokesman said.

"Further on, active offensive operations will be launched in the Luhansk direction with the aim to advance to the border with Russia," Basurin said.

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