Miners rescued after being trapped underground by power cut in east Ukraine

Pro-Russia separatist authorities say Ukrainian shelling cut 77 workers off from the surface

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on a visit to the Black Sea port city of Mykolaiv, southern Ukraine. Mr Zelenskyy has again asked western powers for more arms. EPA
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Dozens of miners in eastern Ukraine were rescued on Saturday after being trapped underground during a power cut by caused by shelling of territory controlled by pro-Russian forces, local officials said.

Power was lost at the Zasyadko coal mine in Donetsk, trapping 77 miners, they said. All were safe and none was injured.

Authorities in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic blamed Ukrainian forces for the shelling.

Separatists seized large parts of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions of eastern Ukraine in 2014.

Russia has recognised them as independent states but they are considered part of Ukraine by Kyiv and the UN.

On Saturday, the leaders of France, Germany, Italy and Romania backed Ukraine's bid to join the EU, saying it should be given “immediate” candidate status.

“Ukraine belongs to the European family,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said at a joint briefing in Kyiv.

But he said that Ukraine still had to meet the accession criteria in full.

French President Emmanuel Macron said the 27-member EU would stand by Ukraine until its victory against Russia.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy described Russia's aggression as a war “against the united Europe”, adding that the “most effective weapon” was unity.

He has also appealed for more heavy weapons to be sent urgently for Ukraine.

Updated: June 18, 2022, 3:07 PM