News / Europe

Dozens Killed Fleeing Ukraine's Luhansk

  • A boy stands in front of a map of Russia at a refugee camp set up for Ukrainian refugees, outside Donetsk, Aug. 18, 2014. 
  • Families pour into Ukrainian refugee encampments, outside Donetsk, Aug. 18, 2014. 
  • Friends and relatives say goodbye to volunteers before they are sent to the eastern part of Ukraine to join the ranks of a special battalion "Azov," fighting against pro-Russian separatists, in Kyiv, Ukraine, Aug. 17, 2014.
  • Russian servicemen sit on military vehicles by the roadside, outside Kamensk-Shakhtinsky, near the border with Ukraine, Rostov Region, Aug. 18, 2014. 
  • Cars produced by foreign automakers are seen at a car dealership on the outskirts of Moscow, Aug. 18, 2014. 
  • Sixteen trucks forming part of an aid convoy, wait in a field about 28 kilometers from a Russia-Ukraine border control point, Aug. 18, 2014. 
Refugees Fleeing Ukraine's Luhansk Attacked
VOA News

Ukraine says pro-Russian separatists attacked a convoy of civilians trying to escape fighting in the east Monday, killing "dozens," including children.

A senior Ukrainian spokesman said the rebels used Russian-made mortars and rocket launchers. The spokesman said the convoy of buses was flying white flags as it traveled along the main road away from the city of Luhansk.

Dozens of people, including women and children, were killed in the shelling on Monday, said Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for Ukraine's national security council.

“The rebels were expecting the convoy and destroyed it entirely. We haven't been able to count the number of victims ... dozens [were killed],” spokesman Andriy Lysenko said, adding that he was unable to provide exact casualty figures.

Khrashjhuvate, UkraineKhrashjhuvate, Ukraine
Khrashjhuvate, Ukraine
Khrashjhuvate, Ukraine

The strike took place Monday morning between the towns of Khrashchuvate and Svitlivka, which lie on the main road leading from the besieged  eastern city of Luhansk.

The allegations came after a five-hour meeting between the foreign ministers of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany broke up without agreement on how to end more than four months of conflict that has killed over 2,100 people and left the region facing a humanitarian catastrophe.

Rebels blame Ukraine

A separatist leader has denied the rebels attacked the civilians, and blamed the deaths on Ukrainian forces.

The rebel leader denied his forces had the military capability to conduct such an attack, and accused Kyiv forces of regularly attacking the area and also using Russian-made Grad missiles.

“The Ukrainians themselves have bombed the road constantly with airplanes and Grads. It seems they've now killed more civilians like they've been doing for months now. We don't have the ability to send Grads into that territory,” said Andrei Purgin, deputy prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic.

There were no immediate further details.

That road is likely the one that a convoy of Russian humanitarian aid would take if Ukraine allows it into the country.

Reports of fresh successes by the Kyiv military followed a breakthrough for government forces at the weekend when troops raised the national flag in Luhansk, a city held by the pro-Russian separatists since the onset of the conflict in April.

However, nine Ukrainian troops were killed there in overnight fighting, a military spokesman said.

Western sanctions against Moscow have failed to stem what NATO calls a steady supply of military equipment and men sent from Russia to help the rebels. Russia denies sending support, saying the rebels have seized equipment from the Ukrainians.

President Petro Poroshenko called on his top security advisers on Monday to address claims by the rebels to have received new stocks of heavy Russian military equipment and 1,200 trained Russian fighters.

US reaction

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf condemned the attack, saying innocent civilians who were trying to get away from the fighting became victims of it. Harf said the U.S. cannot confirm who was responsible.

Luhansk has been the scene of some of the heaviest fighting in recent weeks between the separatists and Ukrainian troops.

Russian aid convoy

Meanwhile, a massive aid convoy sent from Moscow was still waiting to be checked near Ukraine's restive border as talks dragged on about allowing them to cross into rebel-held territory.

On Sunday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said “all questions” relating to Russia sending the humanitarian convoy to Ukraine had been addressed.

However, the International Committee of the Red Cross, which is to take responsibility for the aid convoy when it enters Ukraine, has demanded security guarantees from all sides, including the rebels, for the mission.

"We are still waiting for security guarantees for the convoy," said Galina Balzamova, spokeswoman for the ICRC.

As of midday, there was no indication that the guarantees had been given.

The convoy has been parked for days in Russia near the border amid objections from Kyiv, which believes the convoy could be a Trojan Horse for Russia to get weapons to the rebels - a notion that Moscow has dismissed as absurd.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters, AFP and AP.


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Comment Sorting
by: DellStator from: US
August 18, 2014 9:57 PM
Only one entity in the area has the skillset to kill every single person in a moving convoy, the Russian military. (at least no report has indicated any survivors).
I have found no report of either the Russian Mercs or Ukrianians managing to wipe out everyone in an engagement, and they always have boots on the ground in addition to rockets and artillery.
We know Russian military is in the Ukraine, they drove in right in front of reporters in Russia. We have independent and multiple social media pics tracking the BUK launcher that took down the airliner coming in from Russia by rail at dawn right through rolling away on a lorry and disappearing after the launch.

In Response

by: Lora Wright from: Faraway
August 19, 2014 12:17 PM
A statement from a brainwashed zombie. "We know..." - Who "we"? "We have independent and multiple social media pics..." - Independent? Really? Nothing's "independent", as well as you own perceptions of info cooked for those brainless thinkers as you are, sir DellStator.
In Response

by: Ser from: Russia
August 19, 2014 6:14 AM
You are well-informed, like Psaki, Power, Breedlove, Rasmussen ets.
Maybe you have a tube with flour, like Powell?

by: meanbill from: USA
August 18, 2014 12:09 PM
Ho Chi Minh told America;.. "If you want to fight a war for (40) years or more, we will fight a war for (40) years or more, but if you want to sit down together and drink tea, we will sit down together and drink tea and talk, and it took (16) years for America to decide to sit down and talk and end the Vietnam war.... how long will it take Ukraine to decide, it's better to talk instead of waging war?

Genghis Kahn said it;.. "You can conquer a people on horseback, but you can't rule the conquered people from the back of a horse."..... IF, or when, the Ukraine conquers the pro-Russian separatists, how will they ever rule them if they refuse to be ruled by them?..... Will they try to rule from tanks, armored vehicles, warplanes and bombs, and how many more troops will they need to control those crazy Russian ultra-extremist fighters?..... (Yea, they should have talked, shouldn't they have?).

by: Gruntledlark from: Terra Prime
August 18, 2014 11:45 AM
Russians lie, lie, lie.
In Response

by: Lora Wright from: Faraway
August 19, 2014 12:21 PM
You're such a connoisseur of Russians! How come?!
In Response

by: Ser from: Russia
August 18, 2014 12:52 PM
Gruntledlark lie, lie, lie. Are you better then russians?

by: Valeriy from: Minsk
August 18, 2014 10:37 AM
If Belarus wants to escape from Russia,I think it is obvious that we will have the same situation Ukraine has. Putin is out of control. I don't believe that Ukraine's army will kill peaceful civilians. The rebels of Moscow are to blame. Of course,EU and USA can let Russia to destroy Ukraine,to do another genocide to grab Ukraine under its own control and influence,but what kind of future will have the west if letting it to happen?
In Response

by: Lora Wright from: Faraway
August 19, 2014 12:28 PM
Stupid little Valeriy from Minsk! Don't you know that the US has no much interest in Belarus as it had in strategically important Crimea? Thanks God and Putin, the US's plan of its grip of Crimea failed. So R.I.P. ("rest in peace"), dear friend from Minsk: no one will have need neither in you nor your bulbash country. :(

by: Sergey from: SPb
August 18, 2014 9:54 AM
"Ukraine claimed Monday that rebels in the east of the country fired rockets and mortars on a refugee convoy of buses" Kyiv junta likes to accuse rebels in it's own crimes such as shooting down boeing, bombing residential areas and infrastructure, burning people in Odessa ets. But can't catch a single criminal, and сan't produce any evidence.
In Response

by: for greg from: England from: Sergey from: SPb
August 19, 2014 4:54 AM
Where are your "plenty of evidence"?
All "prosecutors" have shut up.
Do you know some sourses of "plenty of evidence"?
Share, please.
In Response

by: Brian O'Brien from: Luhansk Ukraine
August 18, 2014 1:38 PM
" Never trust a Russian" .... that saying is as true today as it was 100 years ago. Lavrov is a lying snake, a greasy oily manipulator for Putin's dictatorship. Like Obama said " Russia doesn't make anything...." wonder why they will not allow Siberia (that's the only Novosiberisk), Kuban and Kalliningrad break away since Russia is openly arming terrorists here in East Ukraine to do likewise ??? If US was prepared to get involved here they would crush Russia militarily in a matter of days ...... that's the reality
In Response

by: greg from: England
August 18, 2014 11:53 AM
Plenty of evidence for the russians and their terrorist allies shooting down the civilian airliner.

by: Gennady from: Russia, Volga Region
August 18, 2014 9:14 AM
Ukraine of Poroshenko-Yatsenyuk has already been warned by Germany over excessive and indescriminate use of military force over civilian Ukrainian population. Just look for how long Poroshenko-Yatsenyuk government prevented 2000 tons of the Russian humanitarian convoy to reach thousands civilians in the Eastern Ukraine two weeks in desperate need for help. Actually, Poroshenko-Yatsenyuk government showed the world they want the civilians in the Eastern Ukraine caught between disputing sides to be dead. So now, as the rebels had no Grad missiles and have been unable to deliver the mentioned artillery strike, Kiev’s Army is the only possible perpetrator. As it has been in the past, Kiev, even caught red-handed, will stubbornly deny their involvement. Kiev’s rocket fire aimed at the civilian population done on purpose or by “mistake” is a direct violation of the Geneva Convention and should be addressed to the International Court in Hague.

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