Shelling in eastern Ukraine spread to a new front as towering columns of smoke rose outside a city in Ukraine's far southeast. (Aug. 26)
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Novoazovsk, Ukraine - 26 August 2014
1. Pan of columns of black smoke rising from shelling near Novoazvosk near border with Russia, field of dead sunflowers in foreground
2. Smoke rising and fire from shelling
3. Close up shot focus pull from dead sunflowers in field to smoke rising from shelling
4. Near empty streets in Novoazovsk following shelling near the town
5. Close up of resident walking in yard after shelling
6. Various of cars driving from direction of Novoazovsk towards Mariupol, 35 kilometres to the west of recent shelling
7. Various of smoke rising from shelling
Towering columns of smoke rose on Tuesday from outside a city in Ukraine's far southeast after what residents said was a heavy artillery barrage.
It was the second straight day that attacks were reported in the vicinity of Novoazovsk, which is in eastern Ukraine's separatist Donetsk region but previously had seen little fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian rebels.
The shelling came on the same day that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at a summit in Minsk, Belarus.
Local residents, some hastily packing up in order to flee, told The Associated Press it was not clear what direction the firing had come from.
Ukrainian officials on Monday said artillery was fired from the Russian side of the border.
Novoazovsk lies on the Azov Sea on the road that runs from Russia to the major Ukrainian port of Mariupol.
That same road goes west to Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula annexed by Russia in March.
Ukraine said a small column of Russian tanks and armoured vehicles crossed into Ukraine on Monday north of Novoazovsk, raising the possibility that pro-Russia separatists were aiming to take control of a strip of land that would link up Russia with Crimea.
Russia has denied allegations from Kiev and Western countries that it is supporting or directing the rebels as well as NATO charges that it has fired artillery into Ukraine to help the rebels.