Ukraine crisis: ‘This is not some kind of a short-lived uprising. It is a war’

Sunday, May 4, 2014
By Paul Martin

.. so said one Kiev ‘anti-terrorist’ leader on a day when clashes left many dead. The only bright spot was the release of the OSCE hostages

KIM SENGUPTA
IndependentUK
Sunday 04 May 2014

The last separatist barricade at Kramatorsk was an impressive affair; four giant fuel tankers behind a wall of tyres and stone. The armoured personnel carriers of the government forces, lined up ahead, opened fire without warning; a salvo from a main gun streaking down the street.

The wall disintegrated and burst into flames, the tankers were sliced open as if with a can opener, the severed parts of each one left lying across the road. One round overshot and hit a car, leaving it a smoking heap, another went whizzing by a petrol station. The number of casualties, considering the scale of the damage, was relatively low. There were two dead, the driver of the car and an elderly man still clutching his plastic bag of shopping; around half a dozen were injured, two seriously.

There was an interlude of near silence as people who had thrown themselves to the ground and to the grass verge on the side of the road slowly picked themselves up, glad to be alive, and began to help bloodied figures into cars to be taken to hospital. Those who had thought that the horrific events in Odessa, with more than 40 dead, many of them trapped in a burning building, would lead to a lull in the strife in eastern Ukraine – a pause for reflection – found themselves mistaken.

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