Miners rescued after being trapped underground in east Ukraine - separatists

·1-min read

(Reuters) - Seventy-seven miners were rescued on Saturday after being trapped underground during a power outage and shelling of territory controlled by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, local officials said.

The miners were underground when power was lost in the Zasyadko coal mine in Ukraine's Donetsk region but all were now safe and no-one was injured, according to a statement by local separatist officials.

The pro-Russian separatist authority in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic blamed Ukrainian forces for the shelling. Reuters could not immediately verify the report and there was no immediate reaction from Kyiv.

The separatists seized large swaths of land in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions of eastern Ukraine in 2014, and proclaimed two self-styled people's republics there. Russia has recognised them as independent states but they are considered part of Ukraine by Kyiv and the United Nations.

Moscow calls its actions in Ukraine a "special military operation" to disarm and "denazify" Ukraine. Kyiv and its allies in the West say that is a false pretext for an unprovoked act of aggression.

(Reporting by Lidia Kelly in Melbourne; Editing by William Mallard and Timothy Heritage)

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