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quoted by Russian news agencies, denied they had suffered big losses and said the Ukrainians were using outdated intelligence about where separatist forces were deployed.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

Photogallery Oxfam: Ebola Could Be 'Disaster of Our Generation'

Meanwhile, Fidel Castro, the former leader of Cuba, says the Caribbean island nation will 'gladly cooperate' with the US in the fight against Ebola in West Africa More

Multimedia Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

Refugees receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed More

India’s Ruling Nationalist Party Makes Gains in Regional Elections

Bharatiya Janata Party’s huge margin over its rivals puts it on course to form governments in the northern Haryana and western Maharashtra states 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.
Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fighti
X
Zana Omer
October 18, 2014 6:37 PM
The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.
Video

Video Church for Atheists Goes Global

Atheists, by definition, do not believe in God. So they should have no need of a church. But two years ago, a pair of British stand-up comedians decided to create one. Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans told the BBC they envisioned “something like church but without God". Their “Sunday Assembly” movement has grown from a single congregation in London to dozens of churches around the world. Reporter Mike Osborne visited with the members of a Sunday Assembly that now meets regularly in Nashville.
Video

Video Robot Locates Unexploded Underwater Mines

Many educators believe that hands-on experience is the best way to learn. Proving that the method works is a project developed by a group of students at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, New Jersey. They rose up to a challenge posted by the U.S. Department of Defense and successfully designed and built an underwater robot for locating submerged unexploded ordnance. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's JFK Hospital Reopens After Temporary Ebola Exposure

JFK Hospital is Liberia’s largest and one of its oldest medical facilities. The hospital had to close temporarily following the deaths of two leading doctors from Ebola. It is now getting back on its feet, with the maternity ward being the first section to reopen. Benno Muchler has more for VOA News from Monrovia.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Expose Generation Gap

Most of the tens of thousands of protesters in Hong Kong are students seeking democracy. Idealistic youths say while the older generation worries about the present, they are fighting for the territory's future. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Hong Kong.
Video

Video Liberians Living in US Struggle From Afar as Ebola Ravages Homeland

More than 8,000 Liberians live in New York City, more than in any other city outside of Liberia itself. As VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports, with the Ebola virus ravaging their homeland, there is no peace of mind for these New Yorkers.
Video

Video Kurds See War-Ravaged Kobani As Political, Emotional Heartland

Intense fighting is continuing between Islamic State militants -- also known as ISIS or ISIL -- and Kurdish forces around the Syrian town of Kobani, on the Turkish border. The U.S. said it carried out at least nine airstrikes against Islamic State positions Friday. Meanwhile the U.N. has warned that hundreds of civilians would be massacred if the town falls to the militants. Henry Ridgwell looks at the strategic significance of the city.

All About America

AppleAndroid