Ukraine: Five dead, one wounded as anti-terror operation continues in Sloviansk


Ukrainian troops have taken control of three checkpoints surrounding the city of Sloviansk in northern Donetsk Oblast. According to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, five insurgents have been killed and one police officer has been wounded in the attack.

The Ukrainian Interior Ministry has released a statement telling people in the beseiged city of Sloviansk not to leave their homes as the military’s anti-terror operation continues in northern Donetsk Oblast.

{movie}Checkpoint in Sloviansk.|right|16081{/movie}

The statement requests that parents “do not let unattended children in the streets,” and encourages citizens “not to succumb to provocations and not to carry out the criminal orders of representatives of the self-proclaimed government.”

Ukrainian forces distributed leaflets to residents of Sloviansk encouraging them to remain peaceful. The Ministry has reported on its website that the “self-proclaimed mayor of Sloviansk Ponomarev” announced that anyone seen with the leaflet will be “shot on the spot.”

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On April 22, interim President Oleksandr Turchynov announced that Ukraine would restart its anti-terror operation to quell Russian-backed separatist movements in Donetsk Oblast. The operation had been put on hold after quadrilateral talks between the U.S., EU, Russia, and Ukraine in Geneva led to an agreement whereby separatists in eastern Ukraine were requested vacate public spaces and buildings, and surrender their arms. The insurgents refused to comply with the stipulations of the Geneva Statement, and, over Easter weekend, seized several more buildings in Donetsk Oblast.

On the morning of April 24, Ukrainian troops repelled a separatist attack on a military base in the city of Artemivsk, Donetsk Oblast. Ukrainian forces also retook the city council building in the city of Mariupol, Donetsk Oblast, which had been controlled by insurgents since April 13.

On April 23, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with Russia Today that Russia will be forced to protect ethnic Russians in Ukraine if they are attacked directly.

www.belsat.eu/en, via kyivpost.com

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