Shelling of residential areas in Donetsk, the SMM observes civilian fatalities
The SMM on 23 August (at 17:15hrs) saw a residential area in Donetsk (Kalinski district, around 5km north of the city centre) which was severely damaged by artillery. Residents at the scene told the SMM that the area was shelled at around 16:30hrs.
At the scene, the SMM saw a five-floor apartment block with the ground in front of it littered with debris. Some sixty civilians, mainly elderly and in shock, were standing in the vicinity. Close to a footpath leading to one of the entrances, the SMM observed three bodies covered with blankets, judged by SMM to be two adults and a child, in close proximity to each other. Local residents told the SMM that the three were a mother, father and their child.
They said that another child, five years old and the fourth family member, died on the way to the hospital, as a result of head injuries. The SMM noted that the entire building had been seriously damaged. A third floor apartment appeared wholly destroyed with a large hole in the outer wall. The upper fourth and lower second floors had also sustained serious damage, with window panes shattered and the facade hit.
The SMM moved two hundred metres south of the building, where it observed a garage and a vehicle destroyed by what appeared to have been shelling. In front of the garage the SMM saw a kindergarten, with the window panes of its second floor shattered and children’s toys scattered around. A small group of civilians, mainly women, was observed close to the kindergarten in a state of shock. Around 150 metres south of the kindergarten, the SMM saw a residential three-floor building with part of its roof destroyed by what also appeared to be shelling. Local residents provided the SMM with what they believed to be pieces of artillery shells.
Representatives of the so-called Ministry for Emergency Situations of the “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”), who had been present at the scene during SMM’s observation, stated that a nearby food market had also been damaged. At the site, located in a gated area and covered with a tin roof, the SMM observed that the main window panes of the market were shattered, and noted a two-metre diameter hole in the tin roof and four areas of explosive impacts on the ground, consistent with shelling. The SMM observed that the perforation on the tin roof was bent inwardly, with a slant of a 45 degree angle, suggesting that the impacts had come from an easterly direction. Some vendors were present in the market, collecting the remains of their food products. They told the SMM that they believed the shelling could have come from the direction of the town of Makiievka (15.7km east of Donetsk city centre).