Monday, May 5, 2014

Federalists, Kiev Troops Clash in Ukraine's Slaviansk

SLAVIANSK , May 5 (RIA Novosti) – A shootout between local pro-federalization supporters and government-controlled troops was underway on the outskirts of the southern Ukrainian city of Slaviansk, a representative of the activists told RIA Novosti Monday.  

"They [pro-Kiev troops] have attacked our checkpoint near Tsentrkurort,” a spokesman for the local pro-federalization supporters told RIA Novosti. Gunshots were heard all over the area, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported from the scene. Several armored vehicles were moving from the center of Slaviansk toward Tsentrkurort. 

Last Friday, the interim authorities in Kiev launched an active phase of the special operation against pro-federalization activists in eastern regions of the country. It was the bloodiest Ukrainian violence since the February overthrow of President Viktor Yanukovych. The highest casualty toll was reported in Odessa, where 46 people died and over 200 were injured. 

The Russian Foreign Ministry has called on Kiev to immediately halt the crackdown, saying it was a breach of the April 17 Geneva accords on the de-escalation of the Ukrainian crisis and is jeopardizing the remaining hope for the implementation of the agreement.

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