Date: September 16, 2014
Location: Donetsk, Ukraine
Despite the ceasefire agreement signed by both sides of the conflict in Minsk on Sept. 5, 2014, Russian-sponsored militants continued to shell residential areas and other civilian buildings in the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine. In addition to rocket and artillery fire aimed at Ukrainian Armed Forces units, residential areas and buildings such as kindergartens, schools, hospitals and supermarkets were also hit.
Russia’s Armed Forces are supplying militants from DNR and LNR, terrorist organizations disguising themselves as local militia, with the latest in Russian military hardware to carry out various provocative actions, including shelling as civilian areas.
Civilians in eastern Ukraine trying to survive the rocket and artillery fire have no way of really knowing which side is shelling them, so they often express contradictory opinions.
Kindergarten shelled in Donetsk
Fortunately, there were no children in this kindergarten during the shelling because the parents don’t believe the ceasefire agreement and are keeping their children at home.
Kindergarten staff clears up the rubble after shelling
The building itself has been damaged, as well as the playground and surrounding area.
“As you can see our equipment is damaged. There were three volleys. How they were shooting and what they were shooting at, I have no idea, but they hit our kindergarten.
Where’s the [Donetsk International] airport and where are we? Why us?
I get the feeling that our kindergarten was shelled on purpose.
But how do I know? I just... (crying)
Why is this happening? What the heck is this anyway? I don't know!
We’ve been killing ourselves here.
I’ve worked in this kindergarten for 35 years, and now we have to build it from scratch again.
I really don’t know what we’re going to do now...
And when will this planet of ours finally find peace?
All we want is peace. Just peace. That’s all!
No one’s rich here. We’ve been living on a teacher’s salary all our lives.
And we want peace, not war.”
Residential areas shelled in Donetsk
This residential district in northern Donetsk has long been a popular battlefield between the Russian Army and Ukraine’s National Guard.
Damaged high-rise apartment buildings after artillery shelling.
Traces of falling shells can be seen on the walls of these buildings.
The area around the buildings has traces of multiple explosions.
Owner of a private house
(In front of the ruins of his home, he talks about shelling the previous night.) “Earlier the shelling went only in one direction but now the direction is hard to figure out. Shells and rockets are coming from all sides now.
There was smoke right at the corner of my house.
Let me tell you, just in the last three weeks, five shells have hit our house alone.
You can see that there’s nothing left now.
Otherwise, they just shell everywhere.”
A Market is shelled at night in Donetsk
With most grocery stores shut down, this market was the main source of both food and income for many residents of Donetsk.
The market is only about three miles away from Donetsk International Airport, where fierce fighting has been going on for a long time.
Damaged and completely burned market building.
This building is completely destroyed and it’s unlikely that anyone will be able to restore it now.
Local residents help remove the rubble from the previous night’s shelling.
“The most interesting thing is that I was the only one who managed to jump out. You can say that Ukrainians are fighting Ukrainians. Back then it was one country (i.e., the Soviet Union), and now it’s something not understandable (i.e., Ukraine).
Now we’re killing each other.
This is just your typical civilian war.”
Ukraine Ceasefire Breached Again
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Date: September 16, 2014