– Ukrainian army launches assault on Kramatorsk (RT, May 2, 2014):
Ukraine’s National Guard is reportedly storming the eastern town of Kramatorsk. Meanwhile, the army has resumed its special operation in Slavyansk, where two soldiers have been killed.
“The assault is starting now,” a Kramatorsk self-defense activist has told RIA Novosti by phone. Another activist told the news agency that the National Guard opened fire on self-defense forces.
Ten people have been injured in the fighting and one has died, Kramatorsk hospital officials told RIA Novosti. At least one of the injured is a woman. It was earlier reported that dozens had been killed or injured.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian military’s special operation has resumed in the nearby town of Slavyansk. The headquarters of the people’s self-defense is under snipers’ fire, according to Itar-Tass. There are reports of injuries among protesters.
The Ukrainian Defense Ministry said that two military personnel were killed on Friday in the village of Andreyevka, not far from Slavyansk, Donetsk region. According to the ministry, they came under an attack with the use of small arms.
“The violent military confrontation is ongoing. To date, information about the deaths of two Ukrainian servicemen has been confirmed,” the ministry said in a statement, as quoted by Interfax-Ukraine.
Kiev has intensified its military operation in eastern Ukraine, with the army surrounding the anti-government stronghold of Slavyansk, blockading civilians inside with military helicopters and APCs on Friday morning. Two pilots have died, and self-defense forces in Slavyansk said that one of their members was killed.
Meanwhile at least 31 anti-government activists have died in a fire at Odessa’s Trade Unions House. Some burned to death, while others suffocated or jumped out of windows, the Ukrainian Interior Ministry reported. The building was set ablaze by pro-Kiev radicals.
A total of 43 people have died in Odessa violence on Friday and 174 others have sustained injuries. Twenty-five of those remain in critical condition, according to Odessa City Council.