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Novosvitlivka refugee convoy attack
Part of the "War in Donbass
Location "Novosvitlivka
Luhansk Oblast, Ukraine
Date 18 August 2014
Attack type
Artillery strike
Deaths 17[1][2]
Non-fatal injuries
6[1]

A convoy of "refugees fleeing heavy fighting near "Luhansk, "Ukraine, was hit by an "artillery strike on 18 August 2014. At least 17 people were killed in the strike which the Ukrainian government blamed on insurgents affiliated with the "Lugansk People's Republic.[3] The insurgents denied striking any convoy and blamed the attack on the Ukrainian government.

Contents

Background[edit]

The convoy was struck near the village of "Novosvitlivka, in "Krasnodon Raion. The village is southeast of Luhansk city, and is a vital crossroads. Government forces said they had recaptured it from the insurgents on 14 August, but fighting in the area continued.[4]

Events[edit]

The convoy was made up of refugees fleeing intense fighting in the insurgent-occupied city of "Luhansk, which was under siege by government forces. The vehicles were flying white flags, to indicate that they were carrying civilians. Within the convoy, there were also some military lorries provided by the "Armed Forces of Ukraine.[5] It was travelling on the road between Novosvitlivka and the neighbouring village of Khryashchuvate.[6] A spokesman for the Armed Forces said that the insurgents had been warned that a "convoy with peaceful citizens would be passing" through the area. On this road, it was struck by mortar and "Grad rocket fire.[3]

According to the Ukrainian government, the convoy was struck with such force that the people inside the vehicles were "burned alive", and that it was entirely destroyed.[7][8] They said that separatist insurgents affiliated with the "Lugansk People's Republic were responsible for the attack, and that the insurgents had lain in wait to ambush the convoy.[8] They also said that they suspected that the insurgents had used a Russian-made "Uragan missile system to carry out the attack.[7] Colonel Andriy Lysenko stated that the insurgents "had perpetrated a bloody crime" with weapons supplied from Russia.[9]

According to the "Donetsk People's Republic deputy prime minister Andrei Purgin, the area where the attack took place had been constantly barraged by Ukrainian artillery in recent days. He also said that it was the Ukrainian government that was at fault for the attack, and that insurgent forces lacked the "ability to send Grads into that territory".[7][10] DPR prime minister "Aleksandr Zakharchenko stated, "The shelled refugee convoy is a canard. No refugee convoy was at the moment shelled by the DPR or Lugansk People’s Republic."[11]

A spokesman for the government military operation in "Donbass said that Ukrainian forces had retrieved fifteen corpses from the convoy's destroyed vehicles, and were in the process of collecting the scattered remains of ten more people killed in the attack.[12] On the day after the attack, Ukrainian government forces said they were trying to recover more remains from the site of the attack but were unable to do so because of heavy fighting in the area. According to them, the bodies found on the day of the attack were "burnt beyond recognition".[13]

The government of Ukraine released a video that they said was an interview with survivors of the attack.[14] One of the survivors said, "We got ready quickly as we could, and jumped in and we were taken off... At the junction, another [vehicle] was waiting for us. We turned and set off, it wanted to follow us, and then a mortar shell fell right on that vehicle and hit the refugees, and cut the vehicle in half".[5]

Reactions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Ukraine: 17 dead in refugee convoy attack". "WPLG Local 10. CNN. 19 August 2014. Retrieved 19 August 2014. 
  2. ^ http://edition.cnn.com/2014/08/19/world/europe/ukraine-crisis/
  3. ^ a b "Ukraine refugee convoy hit by rockets, says military". "BBC News. August 18, 2014. Archived from the original on August 18, 2014. Retrieved August 18, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Ukrainian army captures key town near Lugansk". "Press TV. August 14, 2014. Archived from the original on August 29, 2014. Retrieved August 18, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Parfitt, Tom (August 19, 2014). "Ukraine convoy attack: 'We were riding with white flag' say survivors as 15 bodies retrieved". "The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on August 26, 2014. Retrieved August 20, 2014. 
  6. ^ Vasilyeva, Nataliya (August 19, 2014). "Ukraine: Dozens of civilians killed when convoy shelled; Rebels claim no attack took place". "U.S. News & World Report. "Associated Press. Archived from the original on August 27, 2014. Retrieved August 19, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c Balmforth, Richard; Zinets, Natalia (August 18, 2014). "Dozens killed in attack on convoy, Ukraine says; rebels deny firing rocket". "Reuters. Archived from the original on August 24, 2014. Retrieved August 19, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b "Dozens Killed Fleeing Ukraine's Luhansk". "Voice of America. August 18, 2014. Archived from the original on August 20, 2014. Retrieved August 18, 2014. 
  9. ^ Kramer, Andrew E. (August 18, 2014). "Rebels Killed Dozens in Attack on Refugees, Ukraine Says". "The New York Times. Archived from the original on August 20, 2014. Retrieved August 19, 2014. 
  10. ^ Luhn, Alec (August 18, 2014). "Dozens die as Luhansk refugee convoy hit by rocket and mortar fire". The Guardian. Archived from the original on August 19, 2014. Retrieved August 19, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Donetsk Republic PM dismisses refugee convoy shelling accusations". Information Telegraph Agency of Russia. August 18, 2014. Archived from the original on August 19, 2014. Retrieved August 18, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Ukraine, rebels accuse each other of attacking refugee bus convoy". "CBC News. Associated Press. August 18, 2014. Archived from the original on August 19, 2014. Retrieved August 18, 2014. 
  13. ^ Tsvetkova, Maria; Barkin, Noah (August 19, 2014). "Ukraine says fighting halts recovery of refugees' bodies". Reuters. Archived from the original on August 20, 2014. Retrieved August 19, 2014. 
  14. ^ a b "Ukrainian troops attack pro-Russia rebels as peace efforts continue". The Guardian. Associated Press. August 19, 2014. Archived from the original on August 20, 2014. Retrieved August 20, 2014. 
  15. ^ "UN chief concerned over reports on refugee convoy attack in eastern Ukraine". Information Telegraph Agency of Russia. August 18, 2014. Archived from the original on August 29, 2014. Retrieved August 18, 2014. 
  16. ^ "EU calls for enquiry into attack on refugee convoy in Ukraine". "Kuwait News Agency. August 19, 2014. Archived from the original on August 29, 2014. Retrieved August 29, 2014. 
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