Eastern Ukraine town suffers from deadly war-time shelling - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Eastern Ukraine town suffers from deadly war-time shelling

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Residents in Donetsk hide in basements to escape shelling and fighting in eastern Ukraine. (Source: CNN) Residents in Donetsk hide in basements to escape shelling and fighting in eastern Ukraine. (Source: CNN)

DONETSK, UKRAINE (CNN) - The Ukrainian army is fast moving into Donetsk, sitting on its outskirts.

But inside the city great disquiet reigns. Shelling has pushed some underground into cellars, half-built basements in a government building where dozens of women and children eke out a life sleeping on mattresses they carried down.

Twins who find the nightly explosions scary and loud. In this dim labyrinth they believe the separatists when they tell them the Ukrainian army are American-backed fascists, set on attacking the local ethnic Russians.

“They crush us, the damn Americans. What are they doing? Where there is war in the world, they have a part. Look, these little ones here,” one woman said referring to the children.

They say they can't afford to leave and have nowhere to go.

“All the women of the world, raise your voice against these murderers,” another woman said.

Above ground, the grief and anger are more vivid near where a school was hit.

In this small community, this can change childhoods, daily life for years.

“They are unworthy, because they are fascists. The government, why do they have to shoot innocent people? resident Svetlana Ivanovna said.

Streets are torn up. Ukraine's army have used a lot of artillery in their fast advance. And as Rima returns to her home for the first time it is unclear who fired the shells that shattered her windows.

“If I'd been asleep here I would have died,” Rima Dnisovna said.

She was staying at her daughter’s when the shells hit.

You can see the civilian cost of the heavy weaponry used by the Ukrainian army to make that advance happen. And also in the shattered windows and damaged homes you get a sense of quite how complex it will be for Kiev to win some locals back.

Where shells landed two people were killed. Quiet, intimate lives flattened into blank faces of loss.

They bury their loved ones. The war is changing. Separatist militants thinning on the streets and their leaders canceling public appearances.

Ukraine's army is moving fast. But the sense of the violence entering a final phase buys no comfort when tragedy has already come, and is permanent.

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