Saturday, August 2, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

3 bridges blown up in Ukraine near rebel-held city

Ukraine

People walk under a destroyed railroad bridge over a main road leading into the east Ukraine city of Donetsk, near the village of Novobakhmutivka, 20 km North from the city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine Monday, July 7, 2014. The bridge has been destroyed, blocking a key access route to the rebel-held city. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

By
July 08, 2014 |

DONETSK, Ukraine — After Ukrainian forces’ seizure of a key rebel stronghold in the east, the major cities of Donetsk and Luhansk could be the next focus of major fighting. Three bridges on roads leading to Donetsk were blown up Monday — possibly to hinder military movements, though the rebels claim it was the work of pro-Kiev saboteurs.

As nerves fray over the prospect of fighting in the sprawling cities, Russia urges Europe to put pressure on the government to end the fighting, but takes no overt action. Rebels in Ukraine and nationalists at home have called for the Kremlin to send in troops to protect the pro-Russia insurgents, but President Vladimir Putin, wary of more sanctions being imposed by the West, has resisted.

Separatist fighters driven out of the city of Slovyansk and other eastern towns by the Ukrainian army over the weekend are regrouping in Donetsk, a major industrial city of 1 million where pro-Russia rebels have declared independence as the Donetsk People’s Republic. Pavel Gubarev, the region’s self-described governor, had promised “real partisan war around the whole perimeter of Donetsk” before thousands of supporters at a rally Sunday.

Ukrainian authorities meanwhile say their strategy is to blockade Donetsk and the rebel-held city of Luhansk, the two largest cities in the separatist east, in order to cut off rebel supply lines. Civilians would be allowed to leave and seek aid elsewhere, national security council spokesman Andrei Lysenko said Monday, according to the ITAR-Tass news agency.

Battles between Ukrainian forces and the separatists have left over 400 people dead and thousands homeless since the uprising began in April. Ukraine’s government ended a shaky, unilateral 10-day cease-fire last week, and has since stepped up its fight against the rebels.

It was not clear who blew up the highway and rail bridges Monday. Their destruction would most benefit the rebels by blocking avenues for military advances, but the rebel Donetsk People’s Republic issued a statement blaming two of the blasts on Ukrainians aiming to interfere with rebel supply lines.

In the village of Novobakhmutivka, where a rail line crosses over a highway out of Donetsk, an 11-wagon cargo train was perched perilously Monday on the collapsed bridge. The road leads toward Slovyansk, a former insurgent stronghold that was recaptured Saturday by Ukrainian troops.

Anatoly Krasov, who was driving along the road Monday, said he saw an explosion before the bridge collapsed with a large cargo train on it. He said a group of men dressed in the camouflage uniforms often worn by the rebels then got into their cars and drove back toward Donetsk.

Two other bridges on roads leading from Slovyansk to Donetsk were also destroyed Monday in the villages of Zakitne and Seleznevka, the Road Transportation Agency of Donetsk Region said.

The insurgents control the regional administration building in Donetsk and checkpoints on the city’s outskirts. They also face little internal resistance from police forces or government officials in the city, who have done nothing in recent months to hinder their free movement around Donetsk.

But it is unclear whether they will be able to put up major resistance in the face of a Ukrainian military attack. Ukrainian forces demonstrated their superior firepower in repelling a rebel attempt to take control of Donetsk Airport in May, a battle that killed dozens of rebel fighters. Many residents have fled the city and the streets are often deserted but for the rebels.

Still, experts say that capturing Donetsk would be much more difficult than retaking Slovyansk, a city ten times smaller, and it could require the type of street-to-street urban warfare that would favor the rebels, not government troops.

Late Monday, French President Francois Hollande’s office said he spoke with U.S. President Barack Obama by phone and called on Putin to press separatists to accept dialogue with Ukrainian authorities. Both leaders also pressed for a meeting to negotiate a bilateral cease-fire as soon as possible.

There was no word Monday from Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who had promised to start talks on a new cease-fire on Friday. A contact group for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe met in Kiev on Sunday to discuss the situation in Donetsk, but no representatives from the rebels attended and no breakthroughs were announced.

On a trip to Bulgaria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov pressed again for a new cease-fire in Ukraine. He also condemned the OSCE for its “unrealistic demand” that the talks take place in Kiev, the capital, rather than in Donetsk.

Ukraine and the West have accused Russia of fomenting the insurgency by sending troops and weapons, including tanks and rocket launchers, which Moscow denies. Putin’s spokesman last week suggested that the West overestimates the amount of influence that Moscow has with the rebels.

On Monday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry made its first statement about Slovyansk since the city fell. It tiptoed around the rebels’ defeat, only mentioning Slovyansk as part of a long list of civilian casualties.

Russia also urged the European Union to put new pressure on Ukraine, which it accused of waging a “massive military operation which has resulted in the deaths of peaceful people.”

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

County unveils Solano economic diversification study

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1

 
Fairfield, Vacaville face off at Solano fair

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Reports close books on Solano DA race spending

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3

’4 guys, 4 guns’ case ends with acquittals

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3

 
Starbucks card as bribe? Not this time

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3

County offers free Hepatitis C testing

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3

 
Commune with your neighbors on National Night Out

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: July 31, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: July 31, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Weather for Aug. 2, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B12

.

US / World

Stars willing to risk opinions on Gaza clash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
In brief lull, Gaza’s displaced survey devastation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Congress backs Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Poll: Public ready to close book on 2 wars

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Israel pounds Gaza as it searches for soldier

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Last ex-city official sentenced in corruption case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

California prisons alter treatment of mentally ill

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Court gives new life to California high-speed rail

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Lightning sparks dozens of new California fires

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Attorney in deadly bank robbery requests records

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Report disputes mom’s claim in school altercation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Ukraine: Body parts retrieved at jet crash site

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

2 Americans detained in North Korea seek US help

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Iran opens first state-run alcohol rehab center

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Remains of Air Algerie crash victims now in Paris

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
China bladder trade sending porpoise to extinction

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Uruguayan pot marketplace may go up in smoke

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Ugandan court invalidates anti-gay law

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Ebola moving faster than control efforts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
Stolen WWI gas mask found in pawn shop

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

WWI aviation still alive at aerodrome in New York

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12 | Gallery

 
.

Opinion

Perspective needed on Gaza conflict

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

.

Entertainment

.

Sports

Vogelsong stifles Mets in Giants’ 5-1 win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Baseball Notebook: Vanden grads Negron, Aplin making their mark

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Raul Ibanez homers to carry Royals past A’s 1-0

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Giants RHP Cain needs surgery to remove bone chips

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Expos stop Shockers, stay alive in state tourney

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1

 
Redskins WR Jerry Rice Jr to have shoulder surgery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Spurs sign Tony Parker to extension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Browns’ Gordon meets with NFL on appeal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Woods, Mickelson paired together again in a major

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
George suffers serious leg injury in US exhibition

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Montoya interested in running The Double for Penske

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Nick Watney leads Barracuda Championship

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Anaheim Ducks to retire Selanne’s jersey Jan. 11

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Mudcats still alive in Auburn Classic

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

Sergio Garcia shoots 61 to take Firestone lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Goodell defends NFL’s 2-game suspension of Rice

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Packers unveil statue for the Lambeau Leap

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Marco Dawson leads 3M Championship

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

PGA Tour refutes report Johnson suspended

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Blaine Gabbert learning 49ers system

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Jon Lester ready to help lead A’s back to playoffs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Hunter-Reay tops after early Mid-Ohio practices

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Larson wins 1st career pole at Pocono Raceway

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Raiders’ Bergstrom adding center to his resume

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

.

Business

US job growth eases but tops 200K for a 6th month

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Rare summer relief for gasoline prices

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

US auto sales sizzle in July, helped by discounts

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

 
S&P 500 has its worst week in 2 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Microsoft sues Samsung over halt to royalties

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
HP to pay $32.5M to settle Postal Service dispute

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Hyundai recalls more than 419K vehicles

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Allergan sues Valeant, claims fraud in buy attempt

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

.

Obituaries

Marjorie Lee Myrick

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Alice Marion Brown

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Enid Mary Vesci

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

 
.

Home Seller 08/2/14

Right at Home: cooking up a color-happy kitchen

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR2

Real estate transactions for Aug. 2, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR3

Average US 30-year mortgage rate at 4.12 percent

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR3