SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

July 8, 2014

3 bridges blown up in Ukraine near rebel-held city

DONETSK, Ukraine — After Ukrainian forces’ seizure of a key rebel stronghold in the east, the major cities of Donetsk and Luhansk could be the next focus of major fighting. Three bridges on roads leading to Donetsk were blown up Monday — possibly to hinder military movements, though the rebels claim it was the work of pro-Kiev saboteurs.

As nerves fray over the prospect of fighting in the sprawling cities, Russia urges Europe to put pressure on the government to end the fighting, but takes no overt action. Rebels in Ukraine and nationalists at home have called for the Kremlin to send in troops to protect the pro-Russia insurgents, but President Vladimir Putin, wary of more sanctions being imposed by the West, has resisted.

Separatist fighters driven out of the city of Slovyansk and other eastern towns by the Ukrainian army over the weekend are regrouping in Donetsk, a major industrial city of 1 million where pro-Russia rebels have declared independence as the Donetsk People’s Republic. Pavel Gubarev, the region’s self-described governor, had promised “real partisan war around the whole perimeter of Donetsk” before thousands of supporters at a rally Sunday.

Ukrainian authorities meanwhile say their strategy is to blockade Donetsk and the rebel-held city of Luhansk, the two largest cities in the separatist east, in order to cut off rebel supply lines. Civilians would be allowed to leave and seek aid elsewhere, national security council spokesman Andrei Lysenko said Monday, according to the ITAR-Tass news agency.

Battles between Ukrainian forces and the separatists have left over 400 people dead and thousands homeless since the uprising began in April. Ukraine’s government ended a shaky, unilateral 10-day cease-fire last week, and has since stepped up its fight against the rebels.

It was not clear who blew up the highway and rail bridges Monday. Their destruction would most benefit the rebels by blocking avenues for military advances, but the rebel Donetsk People’s Republic issued a statement blaming two of the blasts on Ukrainians aiming to interfere with rebel supply lines.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Nation/World

Local News
  • Fight brewing over Salem State garage

    SALEM -- Salem State's plans for a new parking garage are encountering resistance from people who live near the proposed site and say the structure will shrink nearby property values, create traffic problems and have other detrimental effects. Opposi

    August 21, 2014 3 Stories

  • bozo Last laugh BEVERLY -- When it comes to famous clients, it's tough to top Oprah. But to baby boomers of a certain age, Bozo the Clown might qualify as a pretty good second act. Kaminski Auctions, the Beverly company that sold off Oprah Winfrey items last year, i

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140813_SN_DLE_COPAA1 ‘Limbitless possibilities’: Amputees find solace with new support group

    Those in a new support group for amputees say overcoming the emotional trauma of losing a limb can be tougher to overcome than the physical battle of healing and learning to use a prosthetic. "When you lose a limb, you go through physical changes, bu

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Margo Danvers cyclist conquers Mount Washington in honor of biking friends killed by motorist

    DANVERS -- Margo Heigh of Danvers braved the cold, wind and steep grades to ride up Mt. Washington on her bike in Saturday's 42nd annual Mount Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb. She did so to honor the memory of two cycling friends killed last y

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Extended day at Collins to offer variety of enrichment classes SALEM -- This school year, students at Collins Middle School will be able to end their day studying robotics, karate, journalism, music, flag football or any of the other 32 enrichment courses that have been added to the curriculum. A block of time e

    August 21, 2014