War in Ukraine. Kiev Economic Blockade Directed against Donbass, Humanitarian Crisis

In-depth Report:

Pro-Kiev forces have destroyed a gas pipeline and a cafe building in Donetsk with artillery shelling. “After an explosive object hit, roof and floor were destroyed on an area of 2,500 meters in the Dilyara cafe on Marshal Zhukov Street.

A shell also damaged a gas pipeline on Signalnaya Street,” the press service Donetsk city administration said on Wednesday.

The DPR emergencies ministry has confirmed information about shellings. According to its reports around 300 explosive objects were found near Lisichanskaya, including 105 artillery shells of 152mm, 14 of 125mm and 20 mines for a 120mm mortar. Explosive objects were also found near Khartsyzsk, Debaltsevo and Gorlovka.

The Ukrainian authorities have failed to implement the agreements reached in Minsk, head of the Donetsk Peoples Republic Alexander Zakharchenko told a press briefing on Wednesday.

“The economic blockade has not been lifted, the banking system has not been restored, pensions and social payments are not paid,” he said. Furthermore, there is no constitutional reform, even though Ukraine says that something is being done.Zakharchenko noted that the Package of Measures adopted on February 12 envisages that all issues relating to local elections must be coordinated with representatives of DPR and LPR. “But no one coordinates anything with us. The Minsk agreements are thus violated. They remain on paper 100%,” the head of the republic claimed.

Representatives of the DPR in the sub-group on refugees, internally displaced persons and humanitarian assistance should urge Kiev to lift its blockade on delivering medicaments to Donbas at recent Contact Group meeting, chief physician at Donetsk central hospital Valentina Podolyaka said on Wednesday.We receive humanitarian aid from Russia which helps us to keep afloat, but this is not enough, she said. Donetsk doctors now need antibiotics, heart medications and medicine for newborn children.

Twenty seven presidents and prime ministers have confirmed their participation in the Moscow celebrations of the 70th Victory Day anniversary on May 8-10, Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov stated.

“This means 27 heads of state and governments. Moreover, heads of a number of international organizations, in particular UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova, will participate,” he said.In addition to aforementioned leaders, honorary guests who will be sent by relevant heads of states will attend the celebrations. For instance, Winston Churchill’s grandson who is a British MP will come from the United Kingdom. Foreign ministers of France, Italy and Monaco, as well as some other countries, and defense ministers of several countries are expected to come.

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