In an announcement from Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk, for the war torn southeastern regions of Donetsk and Lugansk, the Ukrainian government has declared a state of emergency. Although all areas of the Ukraine are on high alert, Donbass is being hit the hardest.
The move by the Prime Minister is intended to provide the most efficient coordination of all government agencies in an effort to provide protection to civilians, as well as the overall safety of the population. The state of emergency came after the Cabinet of Ministers met in Kiev today.
Overseeing the state of emergency in the southeast region will be a special government commission headed up by the Prime Minister along with Sergey Bochkovsky, the Emergencies Minister and his deputies, as well as Gennady Zubko, Deputy Prime Minister.
Hostilities have renewed in the southeastern region of Ukraine following a ceasefire agreed to last September that did not hold. Because of this, militia forces from Donbass and troops from Kiev are locked into a major battle. Recently, forces from the Ukraine launched major offensive but in spite of deploying aviation, tanks, and artillery, made no ground.
One area that has been somewhat shielded from the violence during the biggest part of the conflict was shelled. Both the militias and Kiev forces are blaming one another for the incident on the port city of Mariupol, which is a heavily residential area, left 30 people dead and another 100 injured.
The conflict in the Ukraine started last April when a military operation was launched by Kiev on Donetsk and Lugansk regions after both refused to accept the new coup-imposed authorities. To date, more than 5,000 people have been killed in the fighting and 10,000 injured.
With this new level of unrest, Pro-Kiev officials in both Donetsk and Luhansk are working to get the children evacuated from the higher risk areas. In just the past 24 hours, nine people have died, seven of those being soldiers. In addition, 24 people have experienced injuries. According to Vladyslav Seleznyov, a spokesman for the army, rebels have fired 115 times so far.
Just last week, rebel leaders stopped being involved with peace talks with the Western-backed government in Kiev. They also vowed that new territory would be seized and that ultimately, they would reach most of the industrial east of Ukraine.
In the midst of this crisis, close to 500 coal miners in the war-torn east were trapped briefly after the pit lost all power after being hit by a shell. Fortunately, the miners are now reaching safety. It was reported that the ventilation systems are up and running and that no lives were ever in danger after the electrical substation was hit.