The BBC is reporting Ukraine forces are storming Luhansk and Sabivka in the east. Pro-Russian leader Igor Strelkov said helicopters are landing inside Luhansk.
“Heavy fighting is under way on the outskirts of Luhansk,” Strelkov said. “The enemy has thrown around 70 tanks into the battle in two compact groups of armour. There is as yet unconfirmed information about a helicopter landing of enemy special forces in the city itself.”
Kiev has not confirmed the raids. One local website posted pictures of Sabivka and a resident told a Ukraine website there is fighting in the city. The report said people took shelter after the shooting began.
The raid comes after Russia claimed a Ukraine shell landed in Russia territory and killed one person. Moscow promised “irreversible consequences,” but Kiev denied the shell came from Ukraine’s army.
President Petro Poroshenko ended a ceasefire in east Ukraine on July 1 after the pro-Russians showed no sign of ending the violence or occupation of the cities. Over 30 people died, including 19 soldiers, on Friday and Saturday. Four servicemen died in Luhansk after their vehicle drove over a landmine. Pro-Russian forces opened fire on a bus carrying miners to work and five of the men died. Poroshenko immediately returned to Kiev and brought together his security advisors.
“All those who used the Grad against the Armed Forces of Ukraine will be found and destroyed,” he said in a statement on his website. “For every soldier’s life, the militants will pay with scores and hundreds of their own. Not a single terrorist will avoid responsibility; each will get what they deserve.”