Truce brings no peace for Donetsk residents

2014-09-13 22:30
A woman walks past a damaged house in Donetsk. (Max Vetrov, AFP)

A woman walks past a damaged house in Donetsk. (Max Vetrov, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Donetsk - The artillery shell landed after nightfall, blowing out all the windows of a residential building in a district near the airport in Ukraine's rebel-held city of Donetsk.

For people living near the airport - where Ukrainian forces claimed on Saturday to have repelled an assault by pro-Russian separatist fighters - there is no peace.

Although the fighting has diminished since Kiev and the rebels signed up to a ceasefire deal over a week ago, there are still reports of shelling each day around Donetsk.

Residents of the Kievskiy district spent Friday clearing up after the night's bombardment, sweeping debris from the streets and fixing shattered windows.

Tatyana Kogalovoshkina, a 52-year-old social worker, said she cannot leave the area because she has elderly parents, so has been staying with other residents in her building's basement for more than a month.

"There was a strong blast. When it was calm again we went outside and saw that all the windows... were blown out," she said.

"It was a huge strike, we were in the basement and the plaster fell," she added, showing how residents were barricading their windows using chipboard, furniture and cushions.

'Who can we trust?'

Donetsk, the biggest city in the conflict zone in Ukraine's eastern rustbelt, has been in rebel hands for months although government forces have dug in at the airport.

Ukraine's military said it had driven back an attack late on Friday on the airport, which has been left largely in ruins since a major battle in May, just a day after the election that brought President Petro Poroshenko to power.

"Many rebels backed by six tanks launched an assault against the airport on Friday which was heroically repelled by the soldiers," the military said, reporting more artillery strikes early on Saturday.

Residents say their nerves are shattered by the constant barrage.

"Who can we trust now?" says Natalia, 60, as she points to the hole in her yard where an artillery shell landed.

"I can't believe anyone - because people believed [in the ceasefire] and a lot of them came back to Donetsk over the past few days.

"The result - do people have to die here?"

Viktor Smolin, a 59-year-old retired miner, pointed to where a mortar shell tore through another residential block.

"What person could feel this without shivering from fear?" he said.

"When they bomb, fire at women and elderly civilians, what can we feel? We are being killed here, simply killed."

Read more on:    russia  |  ukraine

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.