Ukrainian Military Kills at least 4 Protesters in Attack on Airfield
Ukrainian forces have seized an airfield in the eastern city of Kramatorsk, killing at least 4 people and injuring two others, according to reports quoting separatists, as well as a confirmation by the coup-imposed acting President Aleksandr Turchinov.
“There are about 60 units of armored vehicles. They have been preparing for several days, and now they started to storm [the airfield]. The protesters blocked their way, they started shooting, there are wounded. Our people retreated. There are about 15 tanks, the other units are armored personnel vehicles,” one of the separatists told RIA Novosti.
Ukrainian troops have also attacked the city of Slavyansk, according to separatists quoted by Russian media.
“Currently there is a major attack on Slavyansk, armored personnel vehicles are entering the city… there are many troops. The men are getting ready to defend [the city],” said a separatist.
SLAVIANSK (Donetsk Region), April 15 (RIA Novosti) – At least four protesters were killed and two other wounded on Tuesday as the Ukrainian troops stormed an airfield in Ukraine’s eastern city of Kramatorsk, a spokesman for local People’s Militia told RIA Novosti.
“There are four dead and two wounded at the airfield. They are all militia,” the source said, adding that no casualties among the government troops had been reported.
“The fighting for the airfield is over as the militia has retreated and the Ukrainian side took control of the airfield,” he said.
Eastern Ukraine has been swept by pro-federalization rallies since March.
Federalization supporters in Kharkiv, Donetsk, Gorlovka, Slaviansk and Kramatorsk refuse to recognize the legitimacy of the current Ukrainian government and are urging interim authorities to hold referendums similar to the one that has been held in Crimea in March and led to its reunification with Russia.
In an effort to suppress the protesters Ukraine’s parliamentary speaker and acting President Olexander Turchynov ordered Monday a special anti-terrorist operation in the country’s east, involving the use of armed forces.
Meanwhile, the head of Ukrainian Security Service said: “[Protesters] must be warned that if they do not lay down their arms, they will be destroyed.”