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Saturday, 23 August 2014

War and social attacks spread throughout Ukraine


The Ukrainian army has expanded its offensive against the rebel controlled cities of Luhansk and Donetsk, fighting house-to-house battles with rebel groups. While the casualty figures for the civilian population and on both sides increase, the government is claiming important territorial gains.

Ukrainian security council spokesman Andrei Lyssenko stated on Wednesday that the armed forces controlled large parts of the rebel stronghold of Luhansk. There has yet to be any independent confirmation of this report. The New York Times cited a human rights observer in Luhansk who had not seen any Ukrainian troops so far.

The pro-Russian separatists appear still able to launch counter-attacks. On Wednesday, they announced that they had shot down a fighter plane and two military helicopters over Luhansk. They also destroyed several armoured tanks. Lyssenko has only confirmed the shooting down of the plane thus far.

In its attempts to take the city, the army is proceeding with extreme brutality. Residential districts have repeatedly come under fire. The authorities in Donetsk stated on Wednesday that since the beginning of hostilities in March, 951 civilians had been killed in the Donbas region. According to them, 1,748 people had been injured. On Wednesday alone, 52 civilians and Ukrainian soldiers and an unknown number of rebels were killed.

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