Shelling hits rebel-held city in Ukraine

Aug 14, 2014, 7:58 AM EDT
Refugees occupy a building of the National University of Donetsk as shelter from conflict August 12, 2014 in Donetsk, Ukraine. An estimated of 1200 refugees from the Donestk region fled their home during fights between pro Russian rebels and Ukrainian forces and found shelter in buildings in the university.
AFP/Getty Images

Heavy shelling has been heard in the rebel-held Ukrainian city of Donetsk as a Russian convoy approaches the Ukrainian border.

From the BBC:

Initial reports say people poured out of offices in the centre of the city after an evacuation warning sounded. Donetsk has been surrounded for several weeks by Ukrainian forces battling pro-Russian rebels.

Meanwhile, more than 100 lorries carrying Russian aid are approaching a rebel-controlled border crossing. There is continuing confusion over their final destination.

Russia has dismissed as absurd claims that its convoy is a pretext to send military supplies to the rebels.

There is still uncertainty as to whether the convoy will be allowed inside Ukraine. Reuters states:

In Geneva, a spokeswoman for the International Committee of the Red Cross, which would be responsible for distributing the aid in Ukraine, said: "The question of border crossing procedures and customs clearance (for the convoy) still have to be clarified between the two sides."

A senior Ukrainian presidential aide said that the Russian cargo could be taken into the country only under the auspices of the Red Cross and on completion of all border formalities.

"Ukraine will not allow onto its territory any accompanying escort for the cargo and any repetition of attempts to send in so-called peacekeepers," said the aide, Valery Chaly.

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