Donetsk says over 30 civilians killed in Kiev airstrikes on Horlivka

From Sputnik News, January 19, 2015

Kiev deployed combat jets for the first time since last summer and hit populated areas of Horlivka with heavy bombs killing 30 civilians including children, a senior commander of the armed militia in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic said.

DONETSK, January 19 (Sputnik) — More than 30 civilians, including children, were killed on Sunday in the city of Horlivka in the Donbas region in a series of airstrikes carried out by Ukrainian combat jets, a senior commander of the armed militia in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said Monday.”On Sunday afternoon, Kiev deployed combat jets for the first time since last summer, hitting populated areas of Gorlovka with heavy bombs,” said Eduard Basurin, deputy commander of DPR militia.

“As a result, more than 30 civilians were killed, including children,” Basurin said.

The DPR commander noted that as the SU-24 attack aircraft were dropping bombs from about 5,000 meters (more than 3 miles) above the ground, it is clear that Kiev forces were not trying to hit any specific military targets.

Earlier in the day,DPR stated that at least 200 people had been killed and injured in the past 24 hours as a result of fighting initiated by Kiev.DPR leader AlexanderZakharchenko blamed Kiev for breaching the ceasefire and called on the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to force Ukrainian authorities to fulfill the Minsk agreements.The conflict in southeastern Ukraine erupted in mid-April, 2014, when Kiev launched a military operation to suppress independence supporters in Donetsk and Luhansk who refused to recognize the legitimacy of a new government that came to power following a February coup.

On September 5, 2014, the opposing sides reached a ceasefire agreement at a Contact Group meeting in Minsk, however, the clashes between the sides have continued.

According to the latest update by the World Health Organization (WHO), almost 5,000 people have lost their lives and nearly 10,500 have been wounded in Ukraine since the ceasefire between independence supporters and Kiev-led forces had been declared.