2014-10-01 17:18:00

Shelling intensifies in eastern Ukraine

(Vatican Radio) Officials say at least ten people have been killed in the city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine amid ongoing fighting between government troops and pro-Russian separatists.

Listen to Stefan Bos' report: 

What was supposed to be a joyful first day of the new school year, ended in the greatest loss of civilians since a ceasefire agreement was signed on September 5th.

Fresh shelling in the rebel stronghold of Donetsk hit a school playground.

Reports say four people died when artillery shells landed near a school. Another six residents lost their lives when a shell struck near a bus stop, setting a minibus alight.

Ukraine's government expressed anger that local officials allowed classes to resume as fighting had re-intensified in recent days.


Government forces claim to have repelled two fresh assaults by pro-Russian rebels on the airport in Donetsk.

It was the worst attack on civilians since pro-Russian separatists and government forces signed a ceasefire agreement on September 5th.

The European Union and NATO alliance have accused Russia of supporting the rebels with weapons and troops, charges Moscow denies.

News of the latest bloodshed came after European Union ambassadors decided to keep Ukraine-related sanctions against Russia in place for the time being, explained EU foreign affairs spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic.


"What the ambassadors the permanent representatives are actually doing is that are assessing the implementation of the ceasefire agreement and the peace plan, that was reached a while ago and then modified," she said.

"Only in light of this assessment and if the situation on the ground so warrant could the Commission and the external action service be asked to prepare proposals for possible changes," the spokeswoman explained.   

Yet, the sanctions have done little to end the conflict in which more than 3,000 people have died.

Additionally, Ukrainians are gathering wood for heating amid concerns that Russia will continue to close off natural gas supplies to Ukraine ahead of what is expected to be a cold winter.

All the contents on this site are copyrighted ©.