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Ukraine Rebels Break Truce To Make Push For Donetsk Airport

Black smoke from an apparent shelling of the International airport rising into the sky while standing near a railway building, in Donetsk, Ukraine, on Thursday.
PHOTOMIG
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EPA/Landov
Black smoke from an apparent shelling of the International airport rising into the sky while standing near a railway building, in Donetsk, Ukraine, on Thursday.

Fighting has resumed in eastern Ukraine as pro-Russian separatists have broken a much-violated nearly month-long truce in order to launch a military push to capture the government-held airport in Donetsk.

Reuters reports that the renewed fighting, which began on Wednesday, has escalated. Al-Jazeera reports "thick black smoke" over the airport on Thursday.

The Associated Press says: "While the Donetsk airport building has been gutted by shelling, its long runway would let the rebels handle heavy cargo planes carrying supplies, instead of relying solely on truck convoys from Russia."

On Wednesday, a shell exploded in a school courtyard in northern Donetsk and an AP reporter saw bodies of three people killed by it. Shortly afterward, another shell hit a nearby bus stop, killing three people seen by the AP. A minibus that was also hit was still burning hours later.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Scott Neuman is a reporter and editor, working mainly on breaking news for NPR's digital and radio platforms.
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