Tensions in Donetsk are running high following the bloodiest day of the uprising that saw Ukrainian forces kill as many 50 pro-Russian rebels during a raid at Donetsk airport.
Pro-Moscow supporters are bolstering defences amid fears government troops are to launch a full-scale military assault on the city.
The streets are deserted and civilians are living in fear: “ We are all worried. How can they bomb us, unarmed people. We have no weapons and they bomb us with rockets. They should have thought just a little bit. We are not attacking them, we’re just defending ourselves,” said one woman in the city.
Donetsk is the seat of Ukraine’s mining industry and as a result of the unrest all mines have been closed.
The battle at Donetsk airport marked the first time the government had unleashed aircraft and troops directly at the rebels in Donetsk.
The separatists have repeatedly asked Moscow to send Russian troops to aid them.
Russia has called on Ukraine to stop “punitive actions” in the region and criticised new president, Petro Poroshenko for not instigating dialogue.
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