Luhansk Mayor Sergei Kravchenko has declared a three-day mourning from July 15 for city residents killed by the Ukrainian military’s artillery fire.
“In the past three days alone, 17 civilians have been killed and 73 people have received fragmentation and gunshot wounds,” the mayor said in a statement.
“Due to the tragic events, I have made a decision to announce July 15, 16 and 17 as mourning days in Luhansk,” the statement said.
The city’s shelling has caused emergency power cuts in several districts of the city and has left over 4,000 families without water and more than 1,300 residents without household gas.
Fierce fighting continues between troops loyal to Kiev and local militias in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions as the Ukrainian armed forces are conducting a military operation to regain control over the breakaway regions, which on May 11 proclaimed their independence at local referendums.
During its military operation conducted since mid-April, Kiev has used armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation. According to Ukraine’s Health Ministry, over 470 civilians have been killed and more than 1,390 wounded in the armed stand-off. Many buildings have been destroyed and tens of thousands of people have had to flee Ukraine’s embattled southeast.