On Friday, twenty civilians were killed in Luhansk, which is only an hour north of the site where Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed. Luhansk, like Donetsk, is under control of the pro-Russians and broke away from Ukraine to form the Luhansk People’s Republic.
The city’s administration said shelling on the city continued Friday morning and more than 20 people were killed. The officials also said the death toll will be updated if more dead bodies are found.
MH17 was allegedly shot down by the pro-Russians and killed 298 people. However, the violence in east Ukraine is not new. Kiev launched the anti-terrorist operation against the rebels in mid-April and Ukraine’s health ministry said 1,392 people have been killed since then. Four-hundred seventy-eight of the dead were civilians and almost 300 were Ukraine soldiers.
Luhansk is also without water and electricity. Without electricity, the water pumping stations do not work, but no one could reach any damage due to violence. An oil refinery in Luhansk Oblast caught fire on Friday morning, but it has not been reported what caused the blaze.
Defense Minister Valery Heletey told Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko that the army retook the southeast portion of Luhansk Oblast on Friday afternoon.