Heavy shelling reported in eastern Ukraine (VIDEOS)
The self-proclaimed republics in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine have accused Kiev’s forces of ramping up attacks on their positions on Sunday night.
Territory controlled by the breakaway Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and the neighboring Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) has reportedly been subjected to heavy artillery fire during the day.
The source for the information is local officials, and RT is unable to independently corroborate their assertions.
The attacks have allegedly intensified in the evening, according to videos circulating online.
“At the moment, the situation is only getting worse compared to the past few days. We’ve detected some 700 munitions fired at the territory of the republic [on Sunday],” a spokesman for the militia of DPR, Eduard Basurin, told Russian media.
The neighboring LPR has reported a similar escalation, claiming artillery shelling has been registered throughout the whole line of contact with Ukrainian forces.
"The situation on the line of contact has escalated significantly over the past hours,” a spokesman for the popular militia of Lugansk, Ivan Filippenko, has said. He also alleged that Ukrainian special forces units have been deployed at the line of contact.
Since Thursday, the DPR and the LPR have been accusing Kiev of heavy shelling across the contact line established by the 2014-15 ceasefire agreements. Top officials of the self-proclaimed republics claimed the situation looked like the Kiev forces were preparing an all-out offensive, with the artillery fire coming ahead an assault by land forces. Kiev has denied harboring any plans to the take the breakaway regions by force, accusing the rebels of violating the ceasefire themselves.
The ongoing escalation has prompted the DPR and the LPR to begin a mass evacuation of civilians into the neighboring region of Rostov in Russia. The evacuation, which began on Friday, has already seen thousands of civilians fleeing the fighting with Russian Emergencies Ministry establishing temporary shelters for the refugee. On Saturday, both self-proclaimed republics launched a mobilization of all able-bodied men.