Rockets pummeled a high-security prison in Donetsk, which immediately disabled all alarms. Officials said one person died and three were wounded, but 106 potentially dangerous criminals escaped. This could include people jailed for murder, robbery, and rape.
“Extremely dangerous prisoners are now free. It is hard to know the extent of threat this poses to the city, which is flooded with weapons,” said Donetsk city council spokesman Maxim Rovinsky according to the Associated Press.
The attack occurred Sunday night.
“At around 10 p.m., after lights went out and the prisoners began heading to their sleeping quarters, a rocket hit this place,” said a prisoner. “Nobody was in this room, but one guy downstairs had his head blown off.”
— Christopher Miller (@ChristopherJM) August 11, 2014
By Monday afternoon, 34 prisoners returned after apprehension in nearby towns. Another prisoner said people fled to escape the rockets.
The Ukraine government and pro-Russian rebels in east Ukraine blame each other for the incident. Shells and rockets hit civilian buildings on a daily basis between the two factions. A rebel leader suggested a ceasefire on Sunday, but the idea collapsed after the Ukraine army surrounded Donetsk. From Reuters:
Ukrainian military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said if the rebels wanted a ceasefire this meant “raising white flags and putting down their guns”.
There would be no truce while the Ukrainian army continued “punitive” military action, the rebels retorted in a statement.
Fights between the pro-Russians and Kiev started in April, a month after Russia annexed Crimea. Over 1,000 people are dead. Donetsk boasted 1 million people before April, but Rovinsky believes 400,000 people left the city. There is little electricity and basics such as food and water are scarce.
— Christopher Miller (@ChristopherJM) August 10, 2014