Heavy fighting in eastern Ukraine has killed civilians on both side, while an attempt to reopen peace talks in neighbouring Belarus was aborted before it began. As the main rebel stronghold Donetsk reverberated with heavy artillery fire on Friday, two rebel delegates flew to the Belarus capital Minsk to announce that planned talks were off before flying back to Moscow. The talks would have been the first since a five-month-old ceasefire collapsed with a rebel advance last week. In Donetsk, salvoes from multiple rocket launchers and heavier thuds from artillery came from the direction of the airport, a constant battlefield. A Reuters cameraman in the city saw four covered bodies near a cultural centre hit by artillery and a fifth dead person in a badly damaged car nearby. A woman was weeping by one of the bodies. Aid was being distributed at the centre when the shell struck. Half a mile away, a sixth dead person lay where a trolleybus had been hit. The separatists said the total death toll in those two strikes was seven. Kiev said Friday’s shelling of Donetsk was carried out by the rebels themselves to ruin the chance of peace talks. Both sides have made… Read full this story
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