Teenager among those killed by shelling in Donetsk

STORY: Russian-installed separatists blamed Ukrainian forces for the strike on a covered market in the center of the city, the capital of the Russian-backed self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), which is about to hold a referendum on joining Russia.

A Reuters journalist at the scene saw the body of a teenager and four others, along with several wounded citizens.

There was no immediate comment from Kyiv.

Moscow recognised the DPR as an independent state covering Ukraine's Donetsk province days before sending its armed forces into Ukraine in February.

Russian and separatist forces control around 60% of the province, and a referendum being held under their control this weekend, decried by Kyiv as a sham, appears likely to show overwhelming support for incorporation into Russia.

Both Moscow and Kyiv have denied targeting civilians or civilian areas.

Russia says it intervened in Ukraine in part to protect civilians living in the eastern Donbas region, comprising the Donetsk and Luhansk provinces, from persecution.

Kyiv and the West reject this as a baseless pretext for aggression.