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Refugees seek shelter in Russia as Ukraine forces tighten grip on rebels

Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 01:47

Dozens of refugees from the war-torn cities of Donetsk and Luhansk in Ukraine are reported to have been killed by an artillery strike on their bus convoy, the latest casualties in the war between Ukraine government forces and pro-Russian separatists. Mana Rabiee reports.

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The central market in the eastern Ukrainian city of Luhanks...on fire after government shelling. Near the other rebel-held city of Donetsk, in Makiiva, a courthouse burns after shelling there. Both cities have seen artillery strikes by government forces -- tightening their squeeze on pro-Russian separatists as they try to end a four-month-long conflict that's killed more than 2,000 people. Scores of refugees have fled the fighting, some of them...to here... A camp in Russia's Rostov region across the border. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) REFUGEE AT CAMP, MINER, ROMAN DUBCHAK, 40-YEARS-OLD, SAYING: "This is not my war. I didn't order it. Neither did my mother, or my mother-in-law, or my father in law, or all of my children. We've left behind everything we had. Maybe there's nothing left there." These may be the lucky ones. It's estimated that about 70 people per day are now killed in the fighting. And relief agencies say residents of Luhansk and Donetsk face shortages of water, food and electricity. Media in Luhansk say only vital foodstuffs -- like bread -- are on sale. For some, even when the fighting does stop, the future doesn't lie in Ukraine. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) REFUGEE AT CAMP, ALYONA, 26-YEARS-OLD, SAYING: "My sister lives in Sochi. I want to move there. At least to try. Find a job and live a quiet life, until it's all over. If it is ever over." But there's no sign of an end to the hostilities just yet. Russia says it wants a ceasefire but -- with victory potentially within reach -- the central government in Kiev is more likely to press its advance than agree to a truce.

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Refugees seek shelter in Russia as Ukraine forces tighten grip on rebels

Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 01:47