Kiev Attacks Civilians

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KIEV forces have been attacking civilians in residential areas in east Ukraine over the last few days.

This is in spite of the promise by coupist president Poroshenko that civilians would not be targeted by Ukrainian forces during the civil war in the region.

Five civilians were killed in Lugansk, when a large residential building was hit by a Kiev shell yesterday.

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Gorlovka, in the Donetsk region came under artillery fire from Kiev forces. The attack caused casualties in nearby streets and damaged some church buildings, according to the Gorlovka diocesan administration.

At least 13 civilians were killed by continuing artillery barrages yesterday, as Kiev troops closed in on militia positions around the city of Gorlovka in eastern Ukraine.

A one-year old baby girl, killed next to her parents, and a five-year-old were among the dead as they went for a walk through the forest in Donetsk. Several local journalists reported that as many as 30 were killed, as fighting continued.

Aleksandr Boroday, prime minister of the People’s Republic of Donetsk, accused Kiev of intensifying military action in the area surrounding the plane crash site.

A constant barrage of attacks by Ukrainian troops in the Donetsk area yesterday made it impossible for international experts again to visit the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, due to the heavy fighting.

The behaviour of the Ukrainian government ‘contradicts the decision by Poroshenko to declare the 40-kilometre zone around the site of the tragedy a territory of ceasefire,’ Boroday warned.

Alexander Hug, deputy head for the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) monitoring mission in Ukraine, expressed concerns that the fighting near the village of Grabovo in Ukraine’s Donetsk region will ‘most likely affect crash site’.

Meanwhile, a report released by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, yesterday confirmed that pro-Kiev forces are employing heavy weaponry in Ukraine’s eastern regions of Donetsk and Lugansk.

According to the report, more than 1,100 people have been killed in the Ukrainian conflict since mid-April and more than 100,000 others have fled the conflict zone.

• UK Defence Secretary Hammond announced yesterday that Britain would be sending a full battle group of 1,350 soldiers to Poland as part of the NATO package to defend Poland against any ‘attack by Russia.’