Pro-Russian Separatists Attack Mariupol, Ukraine, Kill Two Children

Ukraine endured another violent day as over 30 died and 102 were wounded in Mariupol from attacks by pro-Russian separatists. The majority of those killed were innocent civilians, including two children.

Mariupol is a port city in the Donetsk Oblast. It is important for strategic reasons to Ukraine and Russia since it lies right on the Black Sea. The proximity to Russia would allow Moscow to easily move in people and supplies by road as well. As of writing Kiev is in control of the city, but control passed between Ukraine and pro-Russians in 2014.

Rebel leader Alexander Zakharchenko confirmed the separatists attacked the city.

The mayor said rockets launched from GRAD missile systems hit a crowded market “and other buildings were in flames in a southeastern residential district” around 9AM local time.

President Petro Poroshenko released a statement before he traveled to Saudi Arabia to attend the funeral of King Abdullah.

“Bloody murder of dozens of civilians and wounding of nearly a hundred people by pro-Russian terrorists in Mariupol is not a terrorist attack,” he said. “It is a crime against humanity that should be submitted to the Hague Tribunal.”

He encouraged the international community to recognize the separatist regions as terrorist organizations. He also said the communities must “call their patrons by name.”

“Any assistance to militaries, the supply of weapons, equipment and well-trained manpower – isn’t it a support of terrorism visible to the entire world?” he asked.

He spoke of Russia, who supplies and helps the pro-Russians separatists. They deny involvement, but evidence continues to pile against them.

Pictures and video of the attacks surfaced on social media.

On January 20, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk confirmed more Russian forces entered Ukraine after he spoke with the National Security and Defense Council.

“I have just spoken with the national defense and security council secretary,” he said. “Ukrainian military intelligence confirm the fact military personnel and equipment have been transferred from Russia to Ukraine. Tanks, GRAD multiple rocket systems, BUK and SMERCH systems, radio electronic intelligence systems are not sold at local Donetsk street markets. Only the Russian army and Defense Ministry have them.”


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