Prisoners Break Out as Ukraine Fighting Rages
Government steps up Donetsk offensive
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 11, 2014 3:42 AM CDT
Smoke from shelling rises over a residential neighborhood in Donetsk yesterday.   (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

(Newser) – More than 100 prisoners have fled a high-security facility after it was hit by shelling in the rebel stronghold of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, local authorities say. A jail riot was precipitated by a direct rocket hit that claimed the life of at least one inmate, says a city council spokesman, who adds that at least 10 homes, shops, and garages were hit by overnight rocketing and 20,000 people are living without electricity. Ukrainian government forces have intensified their push on Donetsk over the last week and have succeeded in surrounding it. Exchanges of rocket fire have become a daily feature of the fighting.

The city council spokesman says he believed 100,000 people had left the city of 1 million in the past week alone—adding to the 300,000 who were already estimated to have fled. He says the local government is working hard to preserve access to gas, electricity, and phone service and "avoid a humanitarian crisis." Kiev has taken a hard line against the rebel forces and promised it will only relent when the separatists surrender. A rebel ceasefire offer over the weekend was supported by Russia but met warily by government officials in Kiev and in the West, who expressed concern that the move could be aimed at increasing international pressure on Ukraine to allow in a Russian aid mission.

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Showing 2 of 2 comments
Aug 11, 2014 9:50 AM CDT
Ukraine asked the rebels to participate in open elections, not only did they refuse but they prevented other citizens who wished to vote from doing so. President Poroshenko asked the rebels to negotiate and they refused. He offered increased autonomy if they would stop fighting and negotiate, they refused. They confiscated citizens food, autos etc for their own use and they had no humanitarian concerns then. Now they want a cease fire so they can regroup, strengthen and hope Putin sends in troops then they will start the killing again.
Chris Farley
Aug 11, 2014 6:36 AM CDT
Thats one way to recruit new fighters.