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Tensions rise in Ukraine over military offensive

Wednesday, August 06, 2014 - 02:14

Russia calls for an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council over Ukraine, as Kiev keeps its military offensive to claw back territory lost to rebels. Mana Rabiee reports.

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In the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, rebels say they're in a "state of siege". Government forces have moved into this rebel stronghold. A military offensive by the central government to claw back territory it lost to pro-Russian separatists, who remain defiant. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) UNIDENTIFIED SOLDIER, SAYING: "They are killing our women and our children. We are against this. And so we have to live like this to eat like this and defend ourselves in this way. We will stay until the end." Surface-to-surface government rockets have rained down on the city center. People shelter friends and relatives who fled nearby villages as fighting advanced. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) DONETSK RESIDENT, VALENTINA LYSENKO, SAYING: "Ask this child why is she staying at the homes and offices of strangers? Because they bombed us...People have no place to live, there are so many victims." A storming of the city appears to be ruled out. Ukraine has little or no experience in a mission like that, and it would risk too many casualties. A siege is said to be the most likely option. In nearby Horlivka, people are stocking up on supplies, like at this bakery, worried the siege won't be a short one. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) DIRECTOR OF LOCAL BAKERY, LYUBOV SAS, SAYING: "Oh it is very scary, especially these last three nights. My daughters are scared, they are afraid for life, obviously." The U.N. says 730,000 people fled Ukraine for Russia this year -- a much bigger exodus than anyone thought. The West blames Russia for much of the conflict and has been hitting Moscow with sanctions. Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered his government to retaliate with measures against the West. He's called for an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council over the humanitarian situation in Ukraine. Meanwhile, if there is a siege, rebels will likely be given an escape corridor, in the hope that they'll flee to Russia - if Moscow will take them.

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Tensions rise in Ukraine over military offensive

Wednesday, August 06, 2014 - 02:14