According to reporters, more than 10 residential buildings, as well as a hospital and a shop, were heavily damaged by overnight shelling. At least 25 loud explosions occured in as many minutes around noon on Sunday. Ukraine's military spokesman told the Reuters news agency a cessation of fighting would only occur if the rebels raised "white flags" and surrendered.
On Saturday, rebel leader Aleksandr Zakharchenkocalled for a ceasefire to avert a "humanitarian catastrophe," but his request was met warily by both the Ukrainian government in Kiev and the West. The calls for a ceasefire have been seen as a way of pressuring Ukraine to allow in a Russian aid mission. The West says that could be used as a pretext to bring Russian soldiers into Ukraine.
Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko and Western leaders have repeatedly accused Moscow of providing arms and expertise to the rebels, something Russia denies. Fighting in Donetsk has forced at least 300,000 of the city's one million residents to flee.
"This is a real war! It's impossible to live in this city, I've been sleeping in the basement for the past week," Inna Drobyshevskaya, a 48-year-old lawyer said. "We don't want Novorossiya for this price," she said, referring to a term used by rebels to describe the parts of eastern Ukraine seeking independence from the government in Kiev.