A Reuters report quoted a separatist leader saying Ukrainian government forces were trying to break into Donetsk and fighting was under way near the railway station. Sergei Kavtaradze, of the rebels' self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, said at least four tanks and armoured vehicles were trying to break through into the city.
On Monday, three members of a Dutch disaster victims identification team arrived in Donetsk to investigate the Malaysian plane crash. Although US and its allies blame Russia and pro-Russian rebels for the plane crash, Russia has denied any such involvement.
Separatists have been fighting government forces in Ukraine since protesters in Kiev forced out a pro-Moscow president and Russia annexed Crimea in March.Global affairs experts opine that the plane incident has sharply deepened the Ukrainian crisis.