Russian investigators say a man was killed and a woman injured when a shell fired from Ukrainian territory landed in the courtyard of a private house in the village of Donetsk, in Russia’s Rostov region.
The regional centres of Donetsk and Luhansk now contain the main concentration of separatist forces. As these are large conurbations, any attempt to take them back by force is likely to incur major civilian casualties.
“This incident is evidence of the very dangerous escalation of tension in the Russian-Ukrainian border area, and could have irreversible consequences, the responsibility for which lies with the Ukrainian side,” said the foreign ministry’s official statement, referring to the shelling of Russian territory.
- Malaysia Airlines plane shot down over eastern Ukraine
- Surface-to-air missile used
- 27 Australians were among the 298 on board
- Pro-Russian separatists blamed, but have denied attack
- The plane was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur
Tony Abbott (prime minister of Australia) said the area is controlled by rebels and “bodies remain strewn over the fields of Eastern Ukraine”.
He emphasised just how dangerous the situation is.
“Overnight, a monitoring mission from the organisation for the Organisation of Security and Co-operation in Europe did gain temporary access but it was driven off by gunfire presumably from the Russian-backed rebels.
The United States on Friday began building a circumstantial case against Russia for the downing of a Malaysian airliner, as President Obama said Russian supplies of sophisticated weapons to Ukrainian separatists were “not an accident.”
As an international inquiry was organized, and investigators struggled to reach the wreckage and bodies strewn across fields of wheat and sunflowers in separatist-held territory, Obama said Russian President Vladimir Putin has the power to end the escalating violence in Ukraine.
“Whether it was a Russian military unit that did it or it was a separatist unit . . . we don’t know,” Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said at a briefing. He noted that Russia has up to 12,000 troops deployed on its side of the border with Ukraine.
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