• Wed
  • Dec 24, 2014
  • Updated: 5:15am

Ukraine launches 'anti-terrorist operation' in east as US warns Russia over regional tensions

At least five others are wounded after soldiers face off against armed pro-Russia separatists

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 13 April, 2014, 10:26am
UPDATED : Monday, 14 April, 2014, 5:44pm

Ukraine is launching a "large-scale anti-terrorist operation" to resist attacks by armed pro-Russian forces in the east of the country, President Oleksandr Turchynov said yesterday in a televised address to the nation.

This came after Ukrainian special forces exchanged gunfire with a pro-Russia militia in an eastern city of Slavyansk that left at least one Ukranian officer dead.

It was the first reported gunbattle in east Ukraine, where armed men have seized a number of law enforcement buildings in recent days.

Turchynov said the authorities in Kiev would use the army to prevent Russian forces from moving into Slavyansk, as they did in Crimea, pledging amnesty to anyone laying down arms by this morning.

"Blood has been spilt in a war that is being waged against Ukraine by Russia," Turchynov said.

He said a Security Service captain was killed and two colonels wounded in a gunbattle outside Slavyansk, where the police station and the Security Service office were seized a day earlier.

Interior minister Arsen Avakov said in a Facebook post that there were an "unidentifiable number" of casualties among the separatists. He called on residents to remain calm and to stay at home.

Residents, mostly women, huddled in the cold under light rain in front of barricades protecting the police building. Armed separatists have also set up a checkpoint at the entry to the town.

Watch: Pro-Russian gunmen dig in positions at occupied police station

Unrest has spread to several municipalities in eastern Ukraine, including the major industrial city of Donetsk, which has a large Russian-speaking population.

Donetsk was also the support base for Viktor Yanukovych, the Ukrainian president ousted in February following months of protests in Kiev, the capital.

Ethnic Russians in Ukraine's east widely fear that the new pro-Western Ukrainian government will suppress them.

The regional administration in Donetsk issued a statement, confirming one dead but said there were altogether nine people wounded. They wouldn't say who the wounded people were.

Russian state-run Rossiya 24 television said Ukrainian "self-defence" forces led by an Afghan war veteran had spread across Slavyansk, while troops allied to the government in Kiev arrived in armoured personnel carriers and by helicopter.

Moscow has kept up crushing pressure on the new leaders, first seizing Crimea then threatening to cut off gas supplies to the heavily indebted nation while keeping up a massive military presence along the eastern border.

Additional reporting by Reuters, Agence France-Presse



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This article is now closed to comments

this is gonna blow to a civil war eventually if cooler heads does not prevail
I just don't get it...why the beep do the western parties with America as the leader of the wolf pack need to stick their fingers and bordering to insanity by deliberately trying to pull Ukraine into their orbit...knowing full well of the consequences and the reaction from russia
the cold war is over and you have won but the constant agitation and cherry picking where to fight thru proxy is just ridiculous...
the ppl of Ukraine are the ones dat will suffer because of this stupid intervention.
somebody should tell America to mind their own business and get a life...
in asia, we have peace and prosperity for years and years but since the inception or declaration of the reckless pivot, problems has surfaced and this is creating a lot of issues.
the pivot is after china...call it containment or checking or whatever….lets not get this wrong but is this really necessary and is this the best way to resolve whatever china and usa differences are.
a "large-scale anti-terrorist operation"
So, the separatists, or dissidents are now terrorists in the new propaganda spun by the illegal leaders in Kiev and their backers the US and EU.
Whatever labels they give the separatists won't stop the majority wanting to secede. A referendum is the democratic way. Ukraine will now have to pay the cost of dancing wtih the devil and be split up..........
"if you give a bully an inch....he will take a mile."
Poor Ukraine.
Crimea held a referendum and over 90 percent vouched for the secession. Crimea used to belong to Russia till the 50s anyway!
I just can't understand why those people who are so fascinated with the Russian way of life don't just move to Russia and be happy.
Kiev couldn't help himself and he took the bait. Where's this going? Let me remind here a fragment of an ancient vision: "At the appointed time [the king of the north] will return back [the return of Russia in this context means crisis, which will eclipse the Great Depression. Not only the eurozone will break up, but also the European Union and NATO. Then many countries of the former Eastern block will return to Russia's zone of influence]. And [he] will enter into the south [many indicate on Georgia], but it will not be as the former [2008 - Georgia] or as the latter [2014 - Ukraine], for the dwellers of coastlands of Kittim [USA, in the beginning without Britain] will come against him, and he will be dejected, and will go back." (Daniel 11:29, 30a, literal translation)
Fragment "but it will not be as the former or as the latter" also presages intervention in Ukraine. Once again will be a spectacular victory. But the third time will be U.S. intervention and global nuclear war. (Mathew 24:7; Revelation 6:4)


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