Fifteen civilians have been killed in shelling in the east Ukrainian city of Donetsk today, the city administration said in a statement on its website which
described the general situation there as "very tense".
Artillery shells hit close to the city centre of the rebel-held city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, Reuters news agency reports.
People poured out of their offices onto the stairwell of the city's main administration building after loud explosions nearby triggered an evacuation warning.
There were at least two further blasts near the city, the first time artillery shells have hit the area.
Foreign fighters from Russia, Georgia and Russian Caucasus region of Ossetia are fighting alongside separatists of Battalion Vostok in eastern Ukraine, seeking the region's independence from pro-western leadership in Kiev.
Members of Battalion Vostok - or the East Battalion - said Chechens from Russia's former rebellious region of Chechnya have joined their ranks earlier, but had now gone home, Reuters news agency reported.
Moscow has denied involvement in the conflict that threatens to tear Ukraine apart, but Ukraine's leadership says Russian authorities could do far more to stop these armed groups crossing into eastern Ukraine.