News / Europe

Ukrainian Fighter Jets Pound Rebels After Deadly Missile Attack

An interior view shows a damaged apartment building following what locals say was recent shelling by Ukrainian forces in the settlement of Maryinka outside Donetsk, July 12, 2014.
An interior view shows a damaged apartment building following what locals say was recent shelling by Ukrainian forces in the settlement of Maryinka outside Donetsk, July 12, 2014.
Reuters

Ukrainian war planes bombarded separatists along a broad front on Saturday, inflicting huge losses, Kyiv said, after President Petro Poroshenko indicated that "scores and hundreds" would be made to pay for a deadly missile attack on Ukrainian forces.

In exchanges marking a sharp escalation in the three-month conflict, jets struck at the "epicenter" of the battle against the rebels close to the border with Russia, a military spokesman said.

The planes targeted positions from where separatists using high-powered Grad missiles bombarded an army motorized brigade on Friday, killing 23 servicemen.

Warplanes also struck at targets near Donetsk, the East's main town where rebels have dug in, destroying a powerful fighter base near Dzerzhinsk, Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for the "anti-terrorist operation" said.

"According to preliminary assessment, Ukrainian pilots ... killed about 500 (rebel) fighters and damaged two armored transporters," Lysenko told journalists.

Click to enlargeClick to enlarge
x
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

In an earlier air attack on a base near Perevalsk, north of Donetsk, two tanks, 10 armored vehicles and "about 500" rebel fighters were destroyed, he said.

Rebel representatives, quoted by Russian news agencies, denied they had suffered big losses and said the Ukrainians were using outdated intelligence about where separatist forces were deployed.

"There were no volunteers (rebels) where the Ukrainian aviation was active yesterday," said a spokeswoman for the Luhansk-based separatists, referring to the Peravalsk attack.

Earlier, the border guard service said jet fighters were scrambled to strike at the pro-Russian separatists after they resumed missile attacks on government forces deployed near the frontier with Russia, south-east of the city of Luhansk.

In the military action, which began on Friday evening and continued well into Saturday, five Ukrainian servicemen were killed, Lysenko said. There had been 16 overflights by Ukrainian fighter jets in all, he said.

Rebels had also carried out mortar and missile bombardment of army checkpoints at Dyakove and Nyzhnoderevechka near Luhansk.

Journalists based in Donetsk said Ukrainian forces appeared to have shelled Maryinka, a suburb, on Friday night. Ten multi-storey apartment blocks bore traces of fire and parts of shells could be seen in the street.

Poroshenko, whose forces had recently seemed to be prevailing over the rebels, had vowed on Friday he would "find and destroy" the rebels responsible for the missile attack at Zelenopillya, which also wounded nearly 100 and was one of the deadliest yet against government forces.

New sense of urgency
     
The increasing violence will bring a new sense of urgency to diplomatic attempts to end the worst crisis between Russia and the West since the Cold War.

After a pro-Western revolt in Kyiv ousted a Moscow-backed president in February, Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimean peninsula and pro-Russian separatists seized strategic buildings in towns in the Russian-speaking east, setting up "people's republics" and declaring they wanted to join Russia.

More than 200 Ukrainian servicemen have been killed since then, and hundreds of civilians and rebels have also died.

The United States and the European Union have brought in limited sanctions against Russian businesses amid Ukrainian allegations that Moscow has fanned the conflict and turned a blind eye to military equipment and Russian fighters crossing the border.

On Saturday, the EU targeted 11 Ukrainian separatist leaders with travel bans and asset freezes, avoiding fresh sanctions on Russian business to avoid antagonising its main energy supplier.

The rebels' missile strike on Friday at a motorized brigade was against a part of a contingent of troops sent to the area specifically to try to block military equipment and guns being brought in from Russia to help the rebels.

"The situation on the border is very difficult because there is a strip of border there which has been turned into the epicenter of confrontation," Lysenko said.

"This is because this is a part of the border through which the Russian terrorists are trying to bring in military equipment and arms.

"Ukrainian forces are there to cover that part. If the Ukrainian unit pulls out of there then columns of military equipment will start to flow on to Ukrainian territory again," he said.

Rebel fighters said Ukrainian fighter planes had also carried out air strikes on Saturday in the eastern town of Horlivka. "There were a series of powerful explosions. Details are being clarified," a separatist representative, Konstantin Knyrik, was quoted as saying by Russia's interfax news agency.

Eyes on contact group

Friday's military setback at Zelenopillya took the gloss off the government's recapture of the rebel stronghold of Slaviansk last weekend.

The Ukrainian military, following the Slaviansk victory, said it has readied a plan to oust the rebels now from Donetsk, a city of 900,000 people where separatist forces are dug in.

Poroshenko has said the military plan will be aimed at protecting civilians there and had appeared to rule out the use of air strikes and artillery to crush the rebels.

Poroshenko, who was also urged by German Chancellor Angela Merkel to use a sense of proportion in actions against the separatists, had further talks on Friday with Donetsk mayor Aleksander Lukyanchenko on the issue.

Western allies and Russia are pressing for a new meeting of the 'contact group' involving separatist leaders to try to negotiate an end to the crisis.

Poroshenko said he has proposed various venues for these talks to take place but has said there will be no repeat of a 10-day unilateral ceasefire by government forces which lapsed on June 30.

The Ukrainian government says that ceasefire was repeatedly violated by the rebels and that more than 20 Ukrainian servicemen were killed while it was in force.

You May Like

Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: La Manch from: Frence
July 12, 2014 9:16 PM
Big destroy . Ukrain governent prouded of killing peope. Saparatis prouded of killing ukrain millirary. Gunmen establish from people if goverment want to kill saparatistes thry should kill all people in Saparatis area. The war will never end . Do you see the result of war in Geogia?


by: meanbill from: USA
July 12, 2014 7:02 PM
THE WISE MAN said it; .. Ukraine should learn the lesions the US learned in fighting in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Iraq, and Afghanistan.... where the US with the greatest military forces in the history of the world, (with overpowering firepower), couldn't defeat smaller forces of inferior equipped guerilla fighters...... It's doesn't matter how big your guns are, or how many big guns and tanks you have, (it's like using a canon to kill a rabbit in an open field), when fighting guerrilla fighters you can't locate?

REMEMBER? ... Don't count the bodies of those you kill, or the small victories you'll win, but figure out, what your Ukraine government is trying to accomplish...... Is Ukraine only trying to defeat the guerrilla fighters in a war, (that the US never did), or will it negotiate to form an inclusive Ukraine government with the pro-Russians, that can live in peace? .... (Can Ukraine do, what the US couldn't do, since WW2).... win a war, and bring peace?....... THINK ABOUT IT?


by: ALEXANDER THE GREAT from: USA
July 12, 2014 6:51 PM
BOTH SIDES NEED TO STOP KILLING EACH OTHER UNDER THE UN SECURITY CONCIL AGREEMENT AND TO MAKE PEACE BY DIVISION OF THE COUNTRY UNDER THE UKRAINE. ONE FOR THE PRO-EU AND THE OTHER FOR THE PRO-RUSSIA. ABOUT 50/50 WITH THE DIVISION LAND MARK BEING THE RIVER PASSING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE UKRAINE .

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid