Skirmishes in Ukraine Commences after Brennan’s Visit

Military storm airfield, town in eastern Ukraine, killed, wounded reported – protesters

Published time: April 15, 2014 13:27
Edited time: April 15, 2014 16:27

Ukranian troops stand guard at a checkpoint near the city of Izium in the Kharkiv region of east Ukraine April 15, 2014. (Reuters / Maks Levin)

Ukranian troops stand guard at a checkpoint near the city of Izium in the Kharkiv region of east Ukraine April 15, 2014. (Reuters / Maks Levin)

Ukrainian troops have seized an airfield in the eastern city of Kramatorsk, said anti-government protesters. Four people were killed and two injured, activists added. At the same time Slavyansk is being raided by the Ukrainian military.

Kramatorsk

Coup-imposed President Aleksandr Turchinov said that he received a telephone call confirming the military have seized the airfield in Kramatorsk.

Ukrainian troops approached the military airfield in armored personnel carriers between the eastern cities of Kramatorsk and Slavyansk, the people’s militia located at the airfield told RIA Novosti on the phone.

“They started negotiating with the people’s militia, which is in control of the airfield. The shooting started unexpectedly. There are injured among the people’s militia, and there may be deaths,” they said.

Ukrainian soldiers are seen near armored personnel carriers at a checkpoint near the town of Izium in Eastern Ukraine, April 15, 2014. (Reuters / Dmitry Madorsky)

Ukrainian soldiers are seen near armored personnel carriers at a checkpoint near the town of Izium in Eastern Ukraine, April 15, 2014. (Reuters / Dmitry Madorsky)

 

Other members of the militia have blocked the entrance to Kramatorsk and are ready to defend the city, the activists added.

The activists who controlled the base said they were forced to retreat.

However, the city is still under the control of the people’s militia, the activists said.

“We were forced out of the airfield, but the city itself is under our control, we won’t allow [the Ukrainian troops] to enter,” one of the activists told Interfax.

According to the Ukrainian army, planes and helicopters were mobilized during the raid to “defend the machinery, as it was not known how the [security operation] would end.”

Videos of military jets and helicopters flying over Kramatorsk, as the attack was launched, appeared on YouTube.

The activists who controlled the base said they were forced to retreat.

“There are about 60 units of armored vehicles. They have been preparing for several days, and now they started to storm [the airfield]. The protesters blocked their way, they started shooting, there are wounded. Our people retreated. There are about 15 tanks, the other units are armored personnel vehicles,” another member of the people’s militia told RIA.

In turn, the Ukrainian media, quoting the Ministry of Defense, announced a special operation in Kramatorsk on Tuesday. However, they provided no further details

Ukrainian troops stand guard at a checkpoint near the city of Izium in the Kharkiv region of east Ukraine April 15, 2014. (Reuters / Maks Levin)

Ukrainian troops stand guard at a checkpoint near the city of Izium in the Kharkiv region of east Ukraine April 15, 2014. (Reuters / Maks Levin)

 

Slavyansk

At the same time, the eastern city of Slavyansk is being raided by Ukrainian troops, the head of the Donbass people’s militia, Sergey Tsyplakov, told RIA Novosti.

“Currently there is a major attack on Slavyansk, armored personnel vehicles are entering the city… there are many troops. The men are getting ready to defend [the city],” he said.

“There is a lot of military machinery here,” said one of the activists. “But the shooting hasn’t started yet.”

Anti-government protesters have been holding rallies in the south-eastern part of the country following the coup in Kiev on February 22. Activists have seized government buildings in most of the cities in the Donetsk region. On Sunday, the Kiev government launched a crackdown operation in Slavyansk. Following the event, Ukraine’s Security Council approved a full-scale security operation in the country’s eastern regions. On Monday, coup-imposed President Aleksandr Turchinov signed a decree to officially begin a “special anti-terrorist operation” in the east of the country.

A Ukrainian security authority, who was appointed chief of the security operation in eastern Ukraine, said on Tuesday that all activists who do not lay down their arms would be “destroyed.”

“They must be warned that if they do not lay down their arms, they will be destroyed,” Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) General Vasily Krutov told reporters as cited by AFP.

Moscow slammed Sunday’s order as “criminal.” It was issued by the coup-imposed acting President Aleksandr Turchinov, and approved a full-scale security operation in the country’s eastern regions.

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Anti-Maidan protesters burn tires as they prepare for battle with Ukrainian special forces on the outskirts of the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk on April 13, 2014. (AFP Photo / Anatoliy Stepanov)

An

   AFP Photo/Anatoliy Stepanov: Anti-Maiden Protesters Prepare For Battle Against Ukrainian Special Forces

 

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An Emergency  U.N. Security Council Meeting was convened  at the request of Moscow  this past Sunday, 13 April, 2014  in order to discuss the escalation of tension in Ukraine that saw bloodshed of pro-Russian and pro-Maiden factions.  The acting president of Ukraine Alexander Turchinov made a decree authorizing Ukrainian military force to commence 14 April 2014 to begin the crackdown on the protests in East Ukraine. Moscow believes that this will undermine the talks that will be held to mediate the situation in Ukraine on the 17th of April, between Ukraine, Russia, the E.U. and the United States. At the Security Council Meeting Russian U.N. Ambassador asked the United States to tell the Ukrainian Government to press the red light, and encourage the Ukrainian government not to use force on its own people. Please support this petition to encourage the de-escalation of the situation in Ukraine.

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