Ukrainian steel plant left in ruins by Russian troops

A Ukrainian steel plant in the conflict-stricken region of Donetsk is on the verge of destruction after renewed fighting broke out with Russia-backed rebels.

A Ukrainian steel plant in rebel-occupied Donetsk faces destruction after renewed fighting broke out with Russia-backed rebels. The conflict, which began in 2014, has left the Donetsk region littered with abandoned battlefields and destroyed infrastructure. According to Kyiv’s army, heavy artillery is being used against the steel plant in the latest round of heavy fighting.

According to a statement from Ukrainian government forces, the plant, owned by Donetsk Iron and Steel Works (DOSY), was left in ruins by heavy shelling on Tuesday.

A spokesman for the Ukrainian army’s press center said: “Heavy artillery was fired against the steel plant,” the Interfax news agency reported. “The situation remains volatile.”

Ukraine and Russia are at loggerheads over many issues, including territory held by control-freak rebels. Both countries maintain a vast buffer zone of territory on their eastern borders. Inside the area are many checkpoints operated by border guards on both sides.

So far, attempts to implement a truce between the countries have failed, but there has been an unofficial ceasefire since September. Artillery, rocket, and mortar fire have regularly broken the truce.

In the latest flare-up, dozens of Russian soldiers are reported to have died in a clash with Ukrainian forces in eastern Ukraine.

The conflict has claimed more than 10,000 lives, according to the UN High Commission for Human Rights. In Kyiv, the authorities say more than 3,000 civilians have been killed since the war. The army’s official casualty count is around 566 people.

Most of the casualties on both sides are civilians and combatants from across the heavily armed militia factions that regularly clash in the battle zone. Civilians have accused both sides of using cluster bombs, indiscriminate shelling, and heavy artillery fire as part of their conflict.

The ceasefire has been more favorable to the pro-Russian rebels, who have made significant territorial gains in the past two months. On Wednesday, the rebel leader Alexander Zakharchenko declared a state of total mobilization of Donetsk forces, saying: “We are on the highest level of combat readiness and plan to repulse any attack on our lands.”