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Dozens Killed in Donetsk Fighting

Published: May 28, 2014 (Issue # 1813)



  • A man cheers as pro-Russian insurgents drive through Lenin Square in Donetsk on Sunday.
    Photo: Vadim Ghirda / AP

DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) At least 30 bodies of killed fighters have been brought to a hospital following a day of heavy fighting in Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, in which the government forces used combat jets against pro-Russia rebels, an insurgent said Tuesday.

The rebel fighter, who wouldnt give his name because of security concerns, said outside the hospital in Donetsk that 30 bodies of his fellow insurgents were delivered there.

He said the truck carrying the bodies was still parked outside the hospital, waiting for explosives experts to check it for any unexploded ordnance.

Early Tuesday, a group of unidentified men stormed Donetsks main ice-hockey arena, which was to host the 2015 world championships and set it ablaze, according to the mayors office.

In the neighboring Luhansk region, the Ukrainian Border Guards Service said that its officers engaged in a gunbattle with a group of gunmen who were trying to break through the border from Russia. It said one intruder was wounded and the border guards seized several vehicles loaded with Kalashnikov assault rifles, rocket grenade launchers and explosives.

Donetsk, a city of 1 million, was engulfed by heavy fighting Monday, when rebels moved to seize the airport, Ukraines second largest, and were repelled by government forces using combat jets and helicopter gunships.

Associated Press journalists witnessed sustained intensive gun fire throughout the day and into the night. Plumes of black smoke rose in the air.

Officials closed the airport, and police shut nearby streets for traffic. The city mayor went on television advising residents to stay at home.

The battles in Donetsk came just as billionaire candy magnate Petro Poroshenko claimed victory in Sundays presidential vote. Poroshenko has vowed to negotiate a peaceful end to the insurgency in the east, where rebels have seized government offices and fought Ukrainian troops for more than a month.

Poroshenko described the separatists as Somali pirates, saying that arms should be used against killers and terrorists, but he also indicated that he wants a quick end to the military operation in the east.

The anti-terrorist operation cannot and should not last two or three months, he said. It should and will last hours.

Poroshenko, known for his pragmatism, supports building strong ties with Europe but also has stressed the importance of mending relations with Moscow. Upon claiming victory, he said his first step as president would be to visit the east.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Aug. 21


Time is running out to see the fantastic creations on display at the 2014 Sand Castle Festival on the beach at the Peter and Paul Fortress. Adhering to the theme of Treasure Island, visitors can wander amongst larger-than-life interpretations of pirate life or attend one of the workshops held to educate a future generation of sand artists. The castles will remain on the beach until Aug. 31.



Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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