01:39 GMT +320 September 2017
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    Donetsk after shelling

    'Smell of Burnt Explosives Hangs Over the City': War Returns to East Ukraine

    © Sputnik/ Irina Gerashchenko
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    For the first time since 2015 the population of Donbass, Ukraine was shocked to hear explosions coming from Grad Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS). However, the shelling was just the beginning of the horror that lay ahead for the civilians. A RIA Novosti correspondent was on the ground to talk with local people about the incident.

    Oleg, Donetsk

    For four days Donetsk was rocked by explosions, people could not sleep at night. There was a constant disruption to the supply of water and electricity. The front line is about 5-7 kilometers from the city center.

    Over the last two days of shelling, several schools, two hospitals, boiler plants and power substations have been damaged.

    Today, due to the shelling more than two hundred miners from Zasyadko coal mine could not come back up from the mine.

    Despite the shelling, people are trying to go on with their life and most of the infrastructure in the city is working. Although, according to Oleg such an attitude from the people is because they have “given up on Ukraine.”

    “People are beyond panic now, even though, there is a constant smell of burnt explosives hanging over the city,” Oleg said.

    Elena, Gorlovka

    “There is a complete silence in Gorlovka but the silence is very tense. Everyone knows what is happening in Donetsk, it is all very similar to 2015. At two o'clock the streets were empty here because that is when the shelling started the last time,” Elena told RIA correspondent.

    Pozivnoy Lyolya, Donetsk

    “As of 15:00 the citizens of Avdiivka are being urgently and literally forced to evacuate. Many do not want to leave. The Ukrainian military brought in a huge amount of equipment to the area, so much that the cars cannot always pass,” Lyolya said.

    According to her, there is currently panic and hysteria in the city. For third day there have been attacks both during the day and at night.

    “In Avdiivka there is no light, heat and there is barely any water running. The nursing home has been evacuated,” Lyolya said.

    Anna, Donetsk

    A special schedule has been set up in the Donetsk National University until February, 2. Students who are residents of the districts which are adjacent to the combat zone, are not allowed to attend classes, they have part-time education system going on right now.

    “Somewhere around 14:00 — 14:10, there was artillery shelling in the Kievsky district. An elderly woman was killed. Everything happened so suddenly she had no time to react,” Anna said.

    Natalia, Makiivka

    “It is just loud, very loud and nothing is clear. Today I am at home. I only know what is being written on the social media. There is really no information, only rumors and sometimes panic,” Natalia said.

    She further said that yesterday she went into the city, where the shops and transport was working. There was only some traffic restriction in the hazardous areas.

    Earlier in the day, it was reported that an ambulance driver and a paramedic were injured in a shelling in the eastern Ukrainian town of Donetsk.

    On Monday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko had to interrupt his visit to Germany due to the escalation of the security situation on the line of contact in eastern Ukraine. He also charged his aides with calling for the extraordinary session of the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine to discuss the situation.

    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday that Moscow was concerned about Kiev's actions in the Donbass region, adding that the Ukrainian authorities were derailing the Minsk peace agreements.

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    Tags:
    security situation, civilian casualties, interview, military, shelling, Ukrainian army, Petro Poroshenko, Donetsk, Ukraine
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