DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) – The shelling of a high school in Ukraine’s rebel stronghold of Donetsk has chilled even the battle-hardened in this weary nation.
The killing of two teenagers as they were playing soccer after lunch Wednesday is a stark reminder that the cease-fire agreed upon in Sep-tember has only really ever existed on paper. Four other students were wounded, according to Dr Vladimir Voropayev, chief of the children’s trauma unit at the regional hospital in Donetsk.
The warring sides – government troops on one side and pro-Russian separatists on the other – now look as far from any lasting settlement as they ever were.
In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki condem-ned the shelling of the school.
In the soccer field at Donetsk’s school No 63, two bloodied coats still lay out in the open Thursday as relatives and staff gathered at the scene.
Alexander Yeliseyev, the father of one victim, 18-year-old Andrei, wal-ked by in shock as he gathered belongings left behind when his son’s
body was removed – a dark brown coat and a pair of sneakers.
“They went to play football at about 2pm, while I was at work. And then the shelling began. Here you see the result,” Yeliseyev said, gulping back sobs.