In an apparent breach of the ceasefire, Ukrainian forces shelled residential parts of Slavyansk for nearly an hour on Sunday, destroying buildings and killing at least 3 civilians. Ukrainian media claimed that a pro-Kiev checkpoint had been attacked.
Despite the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine being prolonged till June 30 by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, it appears that the National Guard units fighting in Slavyansk have given little heed to the president’s order and continued to shell the defiant city.
WARNING: GRAPHIC FOOTAGE BELOW
Overnight into Sunday and later during the day, the districts of the Donetsk Region city facing Ukrainian troop positions on Karachun Hill came under heavy fire, with the longest attack going on for some forty-five minutes in broad daylight, local resident Roman Litvinov told RT over the phone.
“There is no truce! At night, from about 11pm to 1:30am they
shelled areas near Slavyansk, and during the day residential
districts of the city and private houses were fired at,”
Litvinov said, adding that there is photo and video evidence of
“the mess that was going on in Slavyansk.”
“They shelled the city and its residential areas from Karachun Mountain. The city was shelled for forty-five minutes,” the Slavyansk resident said.
The shelling killed at least three people, and there have been “many injured,” Litvinov said, adding that not all the devastated houses have been searched for victims yet.
Numerous videos of the aftermath of the shelling have been posted
on YouTube and on social networks by the locals, showing large
shell holes in blocks of flats, shell craters right in the middle
of a local market and destroyed rows of market stalls.
Some of the clips showed a lot of blood also, with a shocked local woman working at the market telling the cameraman that a victim had his kidney “burst” as a result of the shelling. Ambulances could be seen working at the scene.
Reports said that another Slavyansk woman, who was killed by
shelling in her flat, “had her head torn off.”
Despite the outcry and the abundant evidence of the shelling, the Ukrainian media chose to focus on what Ukraine’s National Guard said was an attack on its checkpoint near Slavyansk.
LB.ua published a story on Sunday saying that “on the morning
of June 29, the terrorists carried out massive shelling on a
checkpoint near Slavyansk, where the servicemen of the National
Guard of Ukraine are on duty.”
According to the National Guard’s press service, a checkpoint near Karachun Hill “was fired at from mortars and a tank.”
— Babay (@Truth_Seeker_11) June 29, 2014
A spokesman of the Kiev’s “counter-terror” operation’s
command, Aleksey Dmitrashkivsky, then told RBK-Ukraine that
self-defense shelled the checkpoint from the city’s railway
station, injuring 6 Ukrainian troops.
Dmitrashkivsky claimed that the National Guard only responded by firing “light weapons” and did not mention the shelling of the city.
Meanwhile, in the Lugansk Region, Ukrainian troops and self-defense exchanged artillery fire, with no reports of casualties immediately available. Residents in Ananyevka village near the border with Russia said they had also been shelled. This comes a day after Ukrainian mortar shells flew over the border, hitting a building at a Russian border checkpoint and two Russian villages.