Olena Lennon, PhD, is a former Fulbright scholar from Horlivka
, Ukraine, teaching foreign policy and conflict resolution at the University of New Haven.
There were 16 children among the 164 Horlivka
residents killed by the Kiev forces, the city mayoral office said as cited by the Donetsk news agency.
A WFP team in Sloviansk has met newly displaced families from areas near Debaltseve and Horlivka
. These families managed to escape the violence, but say that many civilians remain stranded.
At least eight civilians also have died in government-controlled territory, regional authorities loyal to Kiev said, while the rebels said seven civilians were killed in artillery attacks on the separatist-held cities of Luhansk and Horlivka
In the rebel-controlled city of Horlivka
, two more people were killed and another 16 injured as a result of rocket attacks.
A military spokesman in Kiev said government forces had pressed the separatists in overnight fighting, encircling the rebel-held town of Horlivka
between Luhansk and Donetsk, and taking control of smaller settlements in eastern Ukraine.
Ukraine's National Security Council said government troops have encircled Horlivka
, a key rebel stronghold, and there had been fighting in other cities in the east of the country.
The move comes after rebels, who seek independence from Kiev, have set fire to a branch in the town of Mariupol in the Donetsk region late on Saturday and raided a security truck last week in Horlivka
Insurgents wielding automatic weapons took control and hoisted their flag on top of the city council building Wednesday morning in the city of Horlivka
in Donetsk region.
Volodymyr Rybak's funeral was held on Thursday in his home town of Horlivka
. His wife and friends wept before his body, which was covered in flowers, before prayers were said and it was taken for burial.
A crowd stormed a police station in the town of Horlivka
, near Donetsk, taking control of the building.