Ukrainian Troops Edge Closer to Rebel City
Ukrainian troops took control of a checkpoint today on the western edge of the pro-Russian rebel-held city of Donetsk as the government makes further gradual advances to quash separatist forces in the east.
An Associated Press reporter saw a tank waving the blue-and-yellow Ukrainian flag in the suburb of Marinka, which lies on a key road into Donetsk. Rebel combatants could still be seen in sniper positions in a nearby area closer to the city centre.
The government offensive against separatist fighters has focused recently on besieging the main rebel strongholds of Donetsk and Luhansk, as well as the smaller but strategically important town of Horlivka.
After not seeing much fighting other than a rebel attempt in May to seize the city airport, Donetsk has come under shelling in recent weeks. City authorities estimate that around 200,000 people in the city of 1 million have left their homes.
The airport is closed, but buses and trains are still running.
Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine have been battling the Kiev government since April. Ukraine and Western countries have accused Moscow of providing the rebels with equipment and expertise, a claim the Russian government has repeatedly denied.
The West has also accused Russia of most likely providing the insurgents with surface-to-air missiles that may have been used to shoot down a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet over rebel-held territory on July 17, killing all 298 people on board.
Despite the presence of pro-government forces at the western entrance into Donetsk, defense officials said that the situation there remained in flux.
A spokesman for the Ukrainian military operation in the east, Oleksiy Dmitrashkovsky, said further fighting was expected to ensure full control over Marinka.
Yesterday, security officials announced that government troops had taken over Yasinuvata, a town just north of Donetsk that is the site of an important railway junction.
Security spokesman Andriy Lysenko said that victory would enable the army to cut off a key rebel weapons supply route.
The government has for several days claimed success in another key tactical goal of driving a wedge between Donetsk and Luhansk. Fighting in towns between those locations has taken a heavy toll on government troops, however.
Around 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of a town that has seen some of the most bitter clashes, a team of more than 100 international investigators from Australia, the Netherlands and Malaysia is traveling daily to the site where Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down.
- Telangana CM Offers Gold Moustache To Temple
- Modi To Face Love Challenge In 2019
- Kim Jong-Nam Was Killed By Lethal VX Nerve Agent
- 5 Crore Indians Suffer From Depression
- Wonderful, Precise And Very Cool: How Do Our Money Up-Chucking Machines Work?
- "I'm Only Passing Through" 10 Leonard Cohen Songs That You Must Listen To
- Blackout For NDTV Stirs The Media
- Daily Curator: The Dominion Of Misunderstood Men Over Headlines
- Daily Curator: Of Holes Being Poked Into The Bhopal Encounter And The Origins Of Chyawanprash
- Watch: Viral Video Has Man Lighting Up A Line Of Crackers Attached To His Mouth
- Man Sitting On Indefinite Hunger Strike Gets Married At The Protest Site
- Over 400 Academicians From International Varsities Write Open Letter To JNU Vice Chancellor Over Recent Events
- Female Intruder From Pakistan Shot Dead, Another Arrested By The BSF
- After Ornaments, Telangana CM Now Offers Gold Moustache At Another Temple
- Business Models Of E-Tailers Running Out Of Steam, Haven't Worked, Says Mohandas Pai
- Demonetisation Sucked in Cash Like Vacuum Cleaner, Adversely Affected Consumption: IMF Official
- MOST VIEWED
- MOST COMMENTED
- Boys In MP Forced To Dip Hands In Boiling Oil As 'Innocence Test', To Prove They Hadn't Stolen Mobile
- Hafiz Saeed Can Pose A Serious Threat To Nation, Says Pakistan's Defence Minister
- 5 Killed As Aircraft Smashes Into Melbourne Shopping Complex
- Nestle Sales Was Hit By Rs 100 Crore Post Demonetisation, Says Company Chairman