DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) – Shelling in rebel-held parts of east Ukraine killed at least 12 civilians on Wednesday, as a top leader of pro-Russian rebels rejected Ukrainian legislation meant to end the unrest by granting self-rule to large swaths of the east.
The city council of Donetsk, the largest rebel stronghold, said that shelling killed two people in the city Wednesday and wounded three others. In a separate statement published online, the press centre for Kiev’s military campaign in the east said that at least 10 civilians in the town of Nyzhnya Krynka, 20 kilometres east of Donetsk, had been killed by shelling. Since a cease-fire imposed on Sept 5, the fighting in Donetsk has been primarily limited to the north of the city, where many residential neighbourhoods have been caught in the crossfire of battles centred on the government-controlled airport.
On Wednesday, an AP reporter in that area of Donetsk saw the remains of what appeared to be a Grad rocket in a burned-out building. There was one body visible at the scene.
The cease-fire has been much violated from the start and civilian casualties have continued to rise, adding to the estimated 3,000 people killed since fighting started in April. On Tuesday, Ukrainian parliament took a step to resolve the crisis by passing laws that would grant greater autonomy to rebel-held parts of the east, as well as amnesty for many of the separatists, a major concession to both Moscow and the rebels.
Volunteers share food and water for residents in the town of Luhansk, eastern Ukraine on September 14. Shelling in rebel-held parts of east Ukraine killed at least 12 civilians on Wednesday, as a top leader of pro-Russian rebels rejected Ukrainian legislation meant to end the unrest by granting self-rule to large swaths of the east – AP