Bodies are piling up in Donetsk morgues after Kiev unleashed fighter jets and artillery on the country’s southeast just hours after the presidential election. New leader-elect Petro Poroshenko is pushing for the crackdown to become even “more effective.”
Ukraine’s southeast saw only a brief suspension of Kiev’s military operations on Sunday while the nation took to the polls. Just before the presidential election, Ukrainian MPs called for immediate troop withdrawal from the country’s southeast.
Following the vote, the leading candidate – billionaire chocolate tycoon Petro Poroshenko – said he sees no reason why the military should stop the operation.
“I support its continuation, but demand a change in its format – it must be shorter and it must be more effective, military units must be better equipped,” he said, despite earlier statements that he is ready for dialogue with the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.
Soon after the last vote was cast, the Kiev military descended on the southeast with new energy, shelling Slavyansk and attacking the airport in Donetsk with mortars.
The number of victims is not yet known. According to the prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, Aleksandr Boroday, 100 self-defense forces and civilians died in Donetsk during the attack. Donetsk authorities reported that about 40 people died and 43 others were injured.
In Slavyansk, at least three civilians died, including one woman.
“We see what that means today – shelling against civilians, bombs that fall near occupied apartment blocks, fighter jets, and helicopter launches against an urban population,” analyst Daniel Patrick Welch told RT, adding that talks were never part of Poroshenko’s plan.