DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) - At least one person was killed and three wounded when an artillery shell hit a shopping center in Donetsk, a city in east Ukraine controled by pro-Russian separatists where fighting goes on despite a ceasefire.
A Reuters cameraman in Donetsk saw at least one body and counted three wounded people after the shell crashed through the roof of the shopping center, smashing food stalls.
The head of the separatist self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic”, Alexander Zakharchenko, told a news conference nine people were wounded in the shelling.
“I don’t know how this ceasefire is working here, or is it not working at all?” he said.
Kiev denies shelling civilian areas and both sides say they are observing the Sept. 5 ceasefire, which has generally brought a respite from fighting in eastern Ukraine.
But continued fighting in Donetsk, including at the city airport, between Ukrainian troops and rebel fighters is increasing pressure on the shaky truce.
The government in Kiev and its Western backers blame Russia for fanning the separatist unrest, including by arming the rebels and reinforcing them with Russian troops. The West has imposed sanctions on Moscow over its actions in Ukraine.
Russia, which annexed Crimea from Ukraine in March, denies playing any role in the armed conflict, though it supports the east Ukrainian separatists’ claims that the central government in Kiev has been mistreating their Russian-speaking region.
More than 3,660 people have been killed and more than 8,700 wounded in east Ukraine since the violence erupted in April and the conflict is still claiming about 10 lives a day, the United Nations said on Wednesday.
Reporting by Shamil Zhumatov and Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Janet Lawrence