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Four killed, 9 injured in Ukraine shelling, as rebels celebrate 'Flag Day'

Sunday, October 19, 2014 - 01:45

One day after shelling kills 4 people and injures 4 others in the rebel stronghold of Donetsk, Ukrainian separatists mark their first national 'Flag Day'. Mana Rabiee reports.

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A symbolic "Victory March" in the self-proclaimed Donetsk people's republic, in eastern Ukraine. It's normally played in Russia to celebrate its victory in World War II. Some 600 separatist sympathizers watch as the flag of this rebel stronghold rises over Lenin square -- on this, the region's first 'Flag Day'. (SOUNDBITE) SELF-PROCLAIMED DONETSK PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC LEADER, ALEXANDER ZAKHARCHENKO, SAYING: "We all will remember this day. Today the liberation of our land begins." Eastern Ukraine is living out a shaky ceasefire between pro-Russian rebels and government troops, in an armed uprising that began in March and has killed over 3,700 people. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) DONETSK RESIDENT, NADEZHDA, SAYING: "I am happy that we are starting to get out of this situation gradually. And that despite all of these (things) the people are living and being happy." The scene was anything but happy in another part of Donetsk, where shelling the day before killed four people and injured nine others. This district is a short drive from the international airport...the site of a protracted stand-off between rebels and government forces, despite the ceasefire. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) DONETSK RESIDENT, DMITRY, SAYING: "They have been shelling and continue shelling here….They hit the school and this apartment block. What kind of ceasefire is that?" After months of fighting, many Ukrainians have become radicalized by this conflict that has brought death and hardship to homes across the country. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko discussed the crisis during talks in Italy. But little progress was was made to stop the violence.

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Four killed, 9 injured in Ukraine shelling, as rebels celebrate 'Flag Day'

Sunday, October 19, 2014 - 01:45