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18 Jul, 2015 18:06

Ukrainian forces shell Donetsk: 1 civilian killed, hospital hit (PHOTO, VIDEO)

At least one person was killed and several injured in Donetsk as Ukrainian forces shelled a hospital and several residential blocks in the city's center. Almost 50 cases of ceasefire violations on Saturday have been blamed on Kiev by the rebels.

A city hospital was hit during the attack, RIA Novosti reported citing Donetsk city hall. A doctor and several patients were injured.

Later in the day, Ukrainian forces shelled several districts in the city, including the downtown area, the news agency quoted a representative of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) as saying. 

One civilian was reportedly killed in Kiev’s attacks. At this point, he has only been identified as male. One doctor was also injured, according to DPR’s emergency service. 

At least three shells landed not far from a school. Moreover, some areas of the city are now without running water due to damages incurred in the attacks.

There were also reports that shells damaged a gas pipeline.

Earlier DNR spokesperson Eduard Basurin said: “Residential buildings have been hit... DNR emergency services are on their way to the shelling site, fires have broken out there.

At least 18 buildings in Kyibyshevsky, Kievsky and Voroshilovsky districts of Donetsk have been destroyed, the city council said.

Describing the situation in the region, Basurin said that the Donetsk defense ministry had registered 49 violations of the Minsk ceasefire during the day on Saturday. The Ukrainian army has been shelling the area controlled by the anti-government forces daily, he added.

RT’s Murad Gazdiev reported from Donetsk that the shelling was “unprecedented in recent times,” as the city center was hit in the attack. Citing local fighters, he said the shelling had been launched from weapons over 120mm caliber – which, according to Minsk agreements, should have been withdrawn at least 50 kilometers from the front line.

Deafening explosions in the center of Donetsk” were heard by RT’s crew, Gazdiev reported, adding that nothing like this has happened in months. At least one person is also feared to have been killed, he reported, adding that journalists saw “ambulances and fire trucks sent everywhere."

“It wasn’t one or two shells that could have been fired accidentally, we’ve counted dozens of impact marks and craters,” Gazdiev reported from the ground, saying there was a large number of apartment blocks and shops in the affected area. According to locals, there is “nothing of military value” in the area.

READ MORE: East Ukraine rebels ready to pull back weapons under 100mm calibre from front line

Earlier on Saturday, officials from the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics in eastern Ukraine said they were ready to withdraw their smaller weapons. Having announced their willingness to unilaterally pull their armored vehicles and artillery under 100mm caliber back at least three kilometers from the front line, the rebel forces had been waiting for a response from Kiev.

The removal of heavy weapons of over 100 mm caliber was also part of the February peace deal brokered in Minsk by the leaders of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine. Weaponry over 100 mm includes large artillery, heavy mortar, and powerful rocket systems. 

Aside from the comprehensive ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, the agreement also calls on Kiev and the rebels to negotiate the terms for future local elections to be held in the rebel-held areas. These talks are yet to occur.