– 650 Ukrainian soldiers killed, wounded in course of special operation – Slavyansk ‘people’s mayor’ (Voice of Russia, May 17, 2014):
“People’s mayor” of Slavyansk, Vyacheslav Ponomarev, has said that law enforcement forces controlled by Kiev suffered severe losses during special operations in the South-East of Ukraine: according to his data, in just ten days, 650 people were killed or wounded, as stated in a message to RIA Novosti.
“The total losses of the punitive fascist Kiev junta during May 2 -12, 2014, amount to 650 killed and wounded, among whom are 285 Right Sector extremists, who joined the National Guard, 120 Ukrainian mercenaries <…>, 90 employees of the Security Service of Ukraine <…>, 70 foreign mercenaries,” said Ponomarev, whose speech was posted on the Internet by the press service of the DPR.
From May 2 to 12, losses among the militiamen amounted to 8 people, three more were wounded, Ponomarev added.
An ultimatum delivered by the militia of Donbass to Kiev expired on Thursday. It stated that if, in a 24 hours period, the Ukrainian military did not leave captured checkpoints in the Donetsk region, the militia would begin its own military operation.
The Kiev authorities are carrying out an operation in the East of Ukraine aimed at suppressing the protest movement, which has emerged as a reaction to the change of power, which occurred in the country on February 22 after several days of clashes in central Kiev and bore clear signs of a coup. The most violent confrontation took place in the city of Slavyansk, in the north of the Donetsk region, which is currently under the control of the “people’s militia”, as well as in Kramatorsk and Mariupol.
A total of 21 law enforcers have been killed and 65 wounded since the beginning of the special operation in Southeastern Ukraine, according to Friday’s report by the UNIAN news agency, citing a source in the Ukrainian Security Service.
The death toll includes 18 members Ukraine’s Armed Forces, and three Ukrainian security service ‘Alfa unit’ officers. Among the injured, are 29 members of the Security Service, 27 soldiers and one medic, five internal troops, a police officer, and two National Guard members.
In addition, two soldiers of the Armed Forces are considered missing. Previously, Assistant Secretary General of the UN Human Rights Ivan Simonovic reported 127 killed in a special operation in the southeastern Ukraine.
The Ukrainian Defense Ministry earlier said that conscripted soldiers do not participate in special operations.
Following the regime change in late February, citizens of the predominantly Russian-speaking southeastern regions of Ukraine refused to recognize the legitimacy of the interim government and called for federalization and referendums on greater autonomy, with rallies sweeping through the region.
Acting Ukrainian President, Aleksandr Turchynov, launched a special operation in mid-April to crack down on pro-federalization protesters. Russia has called the Western-backed military operation against the protesters a “punitive act” and accused Ukraine’s authorities of waging war not against “terrorists” but their own people.
Volunteer guards from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic have taken control of the headquarters of the Eastern unit of Ukraine’s National Guard, a spokesman for the Donetsk People’s Republic told Itar-Tass over the phone late on Friday.
“They took the army unit 3037 building in Donetsk,” the spokesman said, as reported by Itar-Tass.
Earlier on Friday, spokesman for the Ukrainian interior ministry troops, Dmitry Obraztsov, told the UNIAN news agency that the personnel had, “left the headquarters to be billeted in another garrison.” He also said he did not know whether the servicemen had managed to take their weaponry away.