30 civilians killed, orphanage destroyed as Kiev forces hit town near Donetsk – local militia
30 civilians have been killed in overnight shelling on Maryinka, a town near Donetsk, in southeastern Ukraine, by pro-Kiev military forces, according to estimates by self-defense forces.
“30 civilians died as a result of the Ukrainian army’s shelling of Maryinka. Rubble cleanup is under way,” says the Twitter of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic.
Self-defense commander, Igor Strelkov, confirmed 30 casualties among the civilian population.
“None of the buildings used by self-defense has been damaged. None of us have been killed or injured. The civilians bore the brunt of the attacks,” he told journalists.
Earlier a RIA Novosti correspondent on the ground reported 4 civilian casualties in the overnight shelling of Maryinka, a town of 10,000 residents, where self-defense forces are currently stationed. The same source said the town was shelled again on Saturday.
Deputy Prime Minister Andrey Purgin, of the self proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, said, that overnight “the town was shelled from two flanks: by heavy-caliber weapons from the Mariupol direction and by Grad and Uragan rocket launchers and mortars from near the village of Kurakhovo,” Itar-Tass reported.
Missiles have hit apartment blocks. This footage by RT's Ruptly video agency shows damage done to one of the neighborhoods in Maryinka. It features a completely demolished section of the fifth floor of one of the houses.
“There are 2 bodies over here - and 1 more over there. In total, they say, 6 people have been killed,” Maryinka resident, Igor, earlier told Ruptly video agency.
Among other town buildings hit in the attack are a cattle feed plant, a milk factory, a former tire plant and water purification station. The town has been left without water.
There’s also as yet unconfirmed reports of a destroyed orphanage.
“As a result of Maryinka being shelled, an orphanage was destroyed,” says Twitter of the self-proclaimed Donetsk Republic. “We are checking if there are casualties.”
Self-defense forces have also reported an airstrike by the pro-Kiev military forces on another town in the Donetsk region: Gorlovka.
“There has been a series of powerful blasts. We’re trying to find out the details,” the leader of the information center “South-Eastern Front”, Konstantin Knyrik told Interfax. He also claims the self-defense forces downed a Ukrainian military jet in response to the attack.
Meanwhile, four Ukrainian shells exploded in Russia’s Kuybyshevsky district of Rostov region, 300 meters from the border with Ukraine, Itar-Tass quoted border guard service representative Vasiliy Malaev as saying. The explosive devices came from Ukraine and caused no injuries, Malaev stated.
On Friday, several towns were shelled by Kiev’s troops, with residential areas getting under fire.
In one of the attacks, the Ukrainian air force fired rockets at the town of Dzerzhinsk in the Donetsk region and destroyed a cemetery, transformer vault and a gas pipeline.
478 civilians, including seven children, have been killed since Kiev launched a military crackdown on the eastern regions of Ukraine, Lugansk and Donetsk, which proclaimed their independence in May, the country’s deputy health minister said on Thursday.