Ukrainian special forces take position in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk on April 24, 2014
– Kiev military op: Ukrainian army tanks, APCs, troops attack Slavyansk (RT, April 24, 2014):
Five anti-government protesters have reportedly been killed and one injured in the eastern Ukrainian town of Slavyansk after Kiev authorities sent tanks and armored vehicles against the local population.
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“During the antiterrorist operation, three checkpoints erected by illegal military groups have been destroyed in the northeastern part of Slavyansk,” the Ukrainian Interior Ministry said, adding: “At least five terrorists have been killed. One policeman was injured.”
Witnesses report on Twitter Slavyansk self-defense forces are now burning tires to hamper the entrance of infantry vehicles from Kiev into the city.
According to Rossiya 24 TV channel, self-defense forces have repelled the attack of the Kiev gunmen at the key checkpoint 3 km north of Slavyansk. At least three infantry vehicles had to retreat.
Police has announced the beginning of the crackdown via loudspeakers and a special vehicle is currently patrolling the streets warning local people about the crackdown.
The local citizens in the city are preparing for the Kiev crackdown. The majority of shops, kindergartens and schools have been closed in the city. Only the shops selling bread and water remain open.
“Fighting the outskirts of Slavyansk started at about 12pm Moscow time (08:00 GMT),” one of the leaders of the self-defense forces, Miroslav Rudenko, told Interfax, “We are checking reports of one dead and one injured. There are shootings at a number of checkpoints at some of Slavyansk exit-roads.”
Rudenko said it was impossible to reach self-defense leaders in Slavyansk by phone, suspecting that mobile phone connection could have been switched off.
Ukrainian special forces take position in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk on April 24, 2014 (Reuters / Gleb Garanich)
Rossiya 24 TV channel reported there was a slow offensive by Ukrainian troops on Slavyansk.
Read moreKiev Military Op: Ukrainian Army Tanks, APCs, Troops Attack Slavyansk