Mourning in East Ukraine for two schoolboys killed as they played football

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Mourning in East Ukraine for two schoolboys killed as they played football

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Eastern Ukraine is holding 48 hours of mourning after two children were killed by shelling as they played football.

Four others were injured when the artillery shell hit a school sports field in the eastern city of Donetsk on Wednesday.

The school was in the same district as the airport where fighting between rebels and pro-Kyiv forces continues. The airport is still in the hands of government troops.

Alexander Eliseev, the father of Andrey Eliseev, one of the boy’s killed, broke down as he described what happened. “Around 2 p.m – 3 p.m my eldest son Andrey was killed as well as his schoolmate and friend Danila. They went to school together,” he sobbed.

Human rights charity Amnesty International said the deaths must be impartially investigated and if it is found to be a war crime, those responsible must be brought to justice. Amnesty says both separatists and Ukrainian forces have “ignored their legal obligations” and “failed to protect civilians.”

Lamberto Zannier. the secretary general of OCSE told euronews that sticking to a ceasefire agreement signed in the Belarusian capital Minsk in September was the only way forward. Both separatist and pro-Kyiv forces accuse each other of breaking the ceasefire.

“The international community should work to deescalate and the minsk agreement at this moment is the best opportunity we have and is the best set of rules that we have to work on to create more stability on the ground,” Zannier said.

Meanwhile, Russia’s Investigation Committee has begun a criminal inquiry into the deadly shelling.