Ukraine Shells Separatist-Controlled City of Donetsk as Russia Invasion Fears Loom: Report

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Ukraine reportedly carried out heavy artillery shelling in the center of the separatist-controlled city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine on Sunday. According to a Tass News Agency report, Ukraine shelled six populated areas in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic on Sunday morning. This included heavy shelling in Donetsk, although it is not clear if there were any casualties.

The reports of shelling come as tensions escalate between Russia and Ukraine, with Moscow showing its aggression everyday by assembling both troops and artillery near eastern Ukraine. Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the BBC that the plans seen by the West on Ukraine's border suggest a Russian invasion might be "the biggest war in Europe since 1945 in terms of sheer scale".

Donetsk Bombed

According to a report by Tass, the DPR mission to the Joint Center for Control and Coordination (JCCC) said that Ukraine shelled Donetsk and five other cities on late Saturday and early Sunday. The cities of Dokuchayevsk, Oktyabr, Sosnovskoye, Aleksandrovka, and Spartak were shelled between 21:04 and 23:52 Moscow time, according to a report issued on the mission's Telegram channel.

Donetsk was shelled around 00:03 on Sunday. Reports claim the Donetsk Factory of Chemical Products was the target but luckily no damage was reported.

The news comes as more than 2,000 ceasefire violations in eastern Ukraine were reported on Saturday, according to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Ukraine military
Ukraine military reuters

The situation at eastern Ukraine's contact line has been worsening since Thursday, with the DPR and LPR reporting some of the most intensive shelling by Kiev forces in recent months. The have also been reports of damage of civilian property.

Donetsk Under Threat

According to Tass News Agency, Ukraine's military forces shelled the territory of LPR 49 times over the past day, the LPR's People's Militia said on Sunday on its website. "Over the past day, Ukraine's forces violated the ceasefire 49 times, shelling 26 settlements of the republic," the statement said, adding that weapons prohibited by the Minsk agreements were actively used.

According to the Joint Center for Control and Coordination of the Ceasefire, Ukraine's Armed Forces have shelled the territory of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) with 1,120 rounds of ammunition over the past day.

Russia, Ukraine map
Russia, Ukraine map wikimedia commons

"The total number of ammunition used by the Armed Forces of Ukraine [over the past day] was 1,120 units," the report said. Ukrainian military shelled the territory of the Donetsk People's Republic 12 times on Sunday alone, according to the DPR's People's Militia.

Donetsk particularly has been the target for Ukraine over the past few days, as it braces for a Russian invasion anytime. Leonid Pasechnik and Denis Pushilin, the leaders of the Lugansk and Donetsk People's Republics (LPR and DPR), order for the evacuation of the republics' residents to Russia on Friday, citing the growing possibility of warfare.

On Saturday, the republics proclaimed all-out mobilization.