War in Ukraine: Slavyansk stands firm against Kiev junta
Self-defense forces of Slavyansk refute the statement Kiev defense officials, who said that they took the town under control. Not that long ago, a message appeared on the website of Ukraine's Interior Ministry saying that the soldiers of the National Guards cleared Slavyansk from pro-Russian activists. However, all militiamen remain on their positions, strengthen barricades and say that they will be fighting to the end.
The town is waiting for a new military attack that is said to begin in the next few hours. The Ukrainian army launched the first stage of the punitive operation agains the civilian operation of Slavyansk early in the morning, on May 2. About 20 helicopters were circling above the town; three of them were subsequently shot down. Slavyansk defenders saved the life of one of the Ukrainian pilots, whom they at first took captive, but then delivered to a local hospital. At least one militiaman was killed in the battles.
Meanwhile, Acting President of Ukraine, Alexander Turchynov, said that during the military operation in Slavyansk, two soldiers were killed, seven were wounded. He also said that self-defense forces suffered significant losses: many were killed and wounded."
On Karachun hill, the Ukrainian military seized a television station and arranged an artillery position there. Militiamen said that gunmen from the Right Sector nationalist organization took active part in the punitive operation. Reportedly, nationalists put on civilian clothes and try to enter the town for sabotage.
Slavyansk remains blocked. The army has not organized a humanitarian corridor so that the local population could leave. There are many women and children in the town, and many residents do not want to leave the town.
Spokesmen for self-defense forces of Slavyansk said that local residents understand restrictions associated with the situation in Slavyansk. "People are trying to conserve water, they do not line up to shops. The situation is calm, all are helping each other. We asked people not to come out into the streets, many people stay in basements. Men came to the defense of the town, they are building new barricades," a representative said. Kindergartens and schools of Slavyansk have been closed. Other socially relevant institutions operate normally.
According to eyewitnesses of the combat actions in Slavyansk, one could hear English speech in the town, which could prove the participation of Greystone militants in the punitive action against the civilian population of Slavyansk.
Russia is outraged with the continuation of the operation in the east of Ukraine.
"Russia is outraged with the start of the punitive military operation in Slavyansk with the participation of Right Sector terrorists and other ultranationalist organizations, - Foreign Ministry said in a statement. - The division of the Ukrainian army used tanks and other heavy equipment, combat helicopters, who fired missiles on protesters."
"The use of the army against its own people is a crime that takes Ukraine to disaster," Russian diplomats said. "The regime in Kiev has already terminated the agreement from February 21, and now they grossly violated obligations of the Geneva Declaration from 17 April, which required all violence should end immediately."
Russia convenes an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council in connection with the punitive operation in Slavyansk. It is expected that the meeting will take place on May 2 at night, local time (early morning of May 3 MSK).
For the time being, three people have been killed in the clauses: two military men and one militiaman.
Meanwhile, mass riots took place in the center of Odessa. The riots were provoked by the current supporters of the Kiev authorities and "ultras" of "Chernomorets" football club.
Wielding truncheons and shields, young men wearing masks and bandages of the nationalist movement Right Sector, tried to march through the main streets of Odessa, chanting "Glory to Ukraine!", "Death to enemies!", "Knives into Russians!"
A column of Kulikovo Field activists, who advocate the federalization of Ukraine, came to defend the city. The police attempted to dissolve the opponents, although to no avail. As a result, firecrackers, batons, stones and smoke grenades were used. According to unconfirmed reports, one person was killed in the riots in Odessa.