A town in east Ukraine came under shellfire by pro-Russian rebels today, amid fears that they are launching a counter-offensive on government-held parts of the region.
In response to outgoing fire early today, rebel forces lobbed at least 10 shells at the government-held town of Novoazovsk.
Plumes of black smoke rose above the town, which was hit repeatedly by shelling yesterday, injuring four residents in a local hospital, according to the town’s mayor, Oleg Sidorkin.
The renewed fighting came a day after the Russian and Ukrainian leaders met in Minsk, Belarus, to discuss the escalating crisis in east Ukraine.
Despite a one-on-one session between Vladimir Putin and Petro Poroshenko that lasted over two hours, there was no indication of a swift resolution to the fighting that has dragged on since April and claimed at least 2,000 civilian lives.
After the talks, Ukraine’s president said Putin had accepted the principles of a peace plan for the region. The Russian leader, however, insisted that only Kiev could secure a cease-fire deal with the pro-Moscow separatists.
“This is not our business,” Putin said of any cease-fire plan. “This is Ukraine’s business.”