Kiev’s forces have attacked civilian areas across Donetsk with heavy artillery, local officials claim.
A maternity hospital has been damaged amid massive artillery shelling of the capital city of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) by Ukrainian troops on Monday, local sources report. The hospital’s facade has been hit, with the building’s windows shattered, images from the scene show.
The hospital’s patients and staff had been evacuated and were therefore not injured in the shelling, the DPR’s Health Ministry outlined.
Ukrainian forces have subjected residential areas of Donetsk – as well as other locations across the DPR – to rocket and conventional artillery shelling over the past few days. The Monday shelling turned out to be particularly heavy, with local authorities and correspondents on the ground reporting dozens of hits across the city.
Ukrainian forces reportedly used assorted weaponry to target the city, including Uragan and Grad multiple rocket launchers, as well as NATO-caliber 155mm artillery pieces, recently supplied by the West to add to Kiev’s firepower in its fight against Russia.
The massive bombardment has killed at least 4 people, including a child, with 22 more injured, local authorities said. Ukraine has not yet officially commented on the latest attack.
Russia sent troops into the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.
The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.