Russia Massacres Ukrainian Volunteer Battalions—Surviving Members Alleged

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By Athena Yenko | September 2, 2014 2:04 PM EST

"Hundreds of bodies" scattered and "dozens of prisoners" were taken after pro-Russia forces breached an agreement that was supposedly allowed Ukrainian volunteers to withdraw safely from Ilovaisk, 20 miles east of Donetsk.

Reuters
Local residents walk past a crater caused by shelling in the village of Spartak, on the outskirts of Donetsk, September 1, 2014.

Ukrainian volunteers had been trapped and surrounded by pro-Russia forces for more than 10 days in the town. Hence, the Ukrainian government declared that it would surrender the town in exchange for a compromise that the volunteers will be able to safely leave.

However, the volunteers were fired at as they made their escape from the town through encirclement dubbed as the "green corridor."

A surviving member said that they were shot from all sides as they came from Ilovaisk bearing white flags. There was no kind of corridor and the Russian forces shot at the column. Pro-Russian forces captured two columns of Ukrainian troops "practically without a fight," according to the report from The Telegraph.

An unverified claim by Semyon Semenchenko, the commander of the largest volunteer battalion trapped in the town, had it that his men had surrendered not to rebel fighters but to Russian soldiers.

Russia, on the other hand, refuted claims of the breached of agreement saying its troops were not involved in the shooting.

In Parliament meeting on Monday, Prime Minister Tony Abbott had announced that Australia is joining the United States and the European Union in imposing toughened sanctions against Russia.

Mr Abbott announced that another 63 Russians and Ukrainians were banned from entering the country and 21 entities from conducting business in Australia. This is in addition to the 50 individuals and 11 entities already banned in March.

Australia will also ban exports of arms to Russia, access of Russian banks to capital markets, exports of goods and services important in Russian oil exploration, and hamper investment and trade in Crimea.

Mr Abbott told Parliament that the rate of Russia's advances in Ukraine are going, it will become an international pariah.

He underlined that it was the Russian backed rebels who shot down flight MH17 with Russian supplied weapons, murdering 38 Australians.

"This was so much worse than a tragedy; it was an atrocity."

Mr Abbott noted that at the present situation in Ukraine, Russia is deliberately and openly violating Ukrainian sovereignty.

For him, Russia started the fight. Hence, it should take all the responsibility for the loss of life it caused.

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(Photo: Reuters / Maxim Shemetov)
Local residents walk past a crater caused by shelling in the village of Spartak, on the outskirts of Donetsk, September 1, 2014.
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