Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Ukrainian Forces Clash With Pro-Russian Rebels

Kiev Acknowledges 181 People Dead as a Result of Military Action in Eastern Ukraine

By Lukas I. Alpert, WSJ

MOSCOW—Ukrainian government forces clashed with pro-Russian rebels around the eastern separatist stronghold of Slovyansk on Tuesday, while a sustained assault by militants against a government-controlled border guard base in Luhansk subsided.

The continuing clashes came as Ukraine's acting prosecutor general, Oleh Makhnitskiy, acknowledged that 181 people have been killed as the result of military action in eastern Ukraine, including 59 soldiers, as the government seeks to reassert control over the region and oust the militants who have sought independence.

The new administration in the capital Kiev claims that the armed separatists are terrorists and has accused Russia of instigating the unrest. The Kremlin has denied involvement and repeatedly called on Ukraine to withdraw its troops from eastern Ukraine.

In several towns around Slovyansk, Ukrainian officials urged civilians to remain indoors as an operation to clear out separatist forces moved into "an active phase." Local reports said a column of military vehicles had tried to push their way into the center of the city—which has served as the heart of the separatist insurrection since it erupted in April--but met stiff resistance.

(More here.)

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