Civilian Deaths in Ukraine's Donetsk Despite 'Silence Mode'

Ukraine | October 12, 2014, Sunday // 16:28|  views

Alexander Zakharchenko (C), the Prime Minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People`s Republic (DNR) leaves a DNR`s Central Election Commission building in Donetsk, Ukraine, 11 October 2014. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Up to twelve people could have died in the city of Donetsk in Ukraine's east since Saturday, according to various reports.

Donetsk's city council said in a statement on Sunday that four were killed and 11 left wounded after heavy fighting. A few hours later it announced the situation had deescalated.

Rebel authorities, composed by pro-Russian activists controlling parts of Ukraine's Donbass region for months, however put the toll at 12, arguing six women and a child are among the victims.

Self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic" and "Luhansk People's Republic" earlier announced a "silence mode" would be enforced to ensure the ceasefire is being observed.

Fighting in areas such as that around Donetsk Airport have virtually remained a battleground for weeks, despite the ceasefire announced between Kiev and the rebels in mid-September.  

Russia's ITAR-TASS agency meanwhile quoted a Kremlin spokesperson as saying President Vladimir Putin had ordered a troops pullback after a massive summer drill in the Rostov region near Ukraine's border.

End of the exercises is the single reason for the withdrawal, Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov stressed.

Some 17 600 troops took part in the drill, with their presence near Ukraine's territory fomenting tensions between Kiev and Moscow.

Russia and Ukraine are to seek new solutions for the Donbass crisis next week, with presidents Putin and Poroshenko expected to meet in the Italian city of Milan.

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Tags: Ukraine, Russia, Donetsk, ceasefire, truce, Donbass, airport, silence mode, Donetsk People's Republic, Luhansk People's Republic, Dmitry Peskov


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