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At least 18 killed in Ukrainian strike on Donetsk

Ukrainian service members fire a 2S7 Pion artillery system at Russian positions in the Donetsk region. (File photo)

Ukrainian forces have shelled a busy market in Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, leaving at least 18 people dead and 13 more wounded.

Head of the Russian-administrated areas of Donetsk region, Denis Pushilin, said emergency services were working at the scene and that the relevant specialists were trying to collect fragments of the weapons used in the attack.

Alexei Kulemzin, the city's mayor, said Ukrainian forces had shelled a busy area where shops and a market were located.

The Donetsk region is one of four pro-Moscow regions in Donbas, which joined Russia after holding referendums in September 2022.

However, the Kiev forces are still in control of some parts of the regions.

Russia's Defense Ministry has announced recently that its troops had liberated a village in the Donetsk region.

The Russians said on Thursday that their troops had captured the small village of Vesele, 20km northeast of Bakhmut, in eastern Ukraine.

"In the Donetsk direction, as a result of successful actions of Southern Group troop units, the settlement of Vesele in the Donetsk People's Republic was liberated," Russia's Defense Ministry announced

The Russian troops announcement of fresh military advancements on the war front came as Ukraine's war minister told Kiev's Western allies that the Ukrainian forces were facing a "very real and pressing" shortage of artillery shells.

"A shortage of ammunition is a very real and pressing problem that our armed forces are facing at present," Ukraine Defense Minister Rustem Umerov said on Thursday in a message posted on X.

After speaking by video link to a gathering of the allies, the Ukrainian official said a new "artillery coalition" had been formed to supply Kiev's troops with more ammo. "The artillery coalition is aimed at solving this issue."

After Russian troops began their special military operation in Donbas in February 2022, the US-led Western allies largely increased the supply of arms and munitions to Kiev, sending multiple shipments of guns and ammo worth tens-of-billions of dollars.

However, Kiev's demand for more weapons and ammunition has prompted far-right US politicians to question the Ukrainian forces effectiveness in fighting the US-led Western countries' proxy war against the Russians.

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