A gunfight at a Ukrainian army checkpoint and an assault in the port city of Mariupol reportedly leaves dozens dead, as Kiev faces an uptick in separatist violence in eastern Ukraine. Pavithra George reports.
Flashes of gunfire ---seen at a Ukranian army checkpoint, near the town of Debalsteve, between Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine where pro-Russian separatists are fighting for control. Video released by broadcaster Radio Free Europe shows people running for cover as shots ring out. Ukrainian military officials say four soldiers died and 17 injured in the outbreak of violence over the weekend. Eastern Ukraine has seen an escalation of fighting in recent days that Russian President Vladimir Putin blames on the government in the capital, Kiev. Further south, in the strategic port city of Mariupol -residents inspect the damage left behind after a day of shelling and rocket fire. Mariupol officials say the rebels had killed at least 30 people and injured 83 others. The city sits on the coastal route from the Russian border to the Crimean peninsula, annexed by Moscow last march - and Ukraine fears the rebels wants to build a land bridge linking Russia and Crimea.