KRAMATORSK, May 15. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukrainian military “simulated armed clashes” against a self-defense group on the outskirts of the city of Kramatorsk in the Donetsk region, a representative of voluntary guard of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic told ITAR-TASS on Thursday.
“A ten-vehicle-strong armored column under the cover of six helicopters entered the township of Solntsevo” and the entry was followed by brisk fire involving large-caliber automatic weapons,” he said.
The man who witnessed the events said “they were shooting at nowhere, in the sky and into the open field as there aren’t any woods nearby.” Upon hearing the shooting, locals “took shelter in cellars.”
“There were no self-defense fighters in this area, to say nothing of bases,” he said.
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Ukrainian military storm Kramatorsk, 1 dead, 9 injured
Published time: May 02, 2014 20:05
Edited time: May 03, 2014 03:58
The Ukrainian army’s assault on Kramatorsk has finished, witnesses say, adding that the military did not enter the town. Preliminary reports say that one self-defense activist was killed and nine were injured.
It is unclear whether there are any casualties on the army’s side.
Meanwhile coup-appointed interior minister Arsen Avakov has said on his Facebook page that Kiev is not planning to stop the special military operation in Kramatorsk, adding that the military assault will continue at sunrise. He added that the military took control of a TV tower in Kramatorsk overnight.
“The military attacked the barricade on the road to Yasnogorka (town adjacent to Kramatorsk),” an eye-witness in Kramatorsk told RT when the assault started late on Friday. “The lights have been turned off on the nearby street. Shots are being heard across the city, signal rockets light up the sky from time to time. People are saying the Ukrainian army is shooting at everything that moves right now.”
Medics told RIA Novosti that 10 people sustained wounds, one of whom died in hospital. At least one of the injured is a woman. It was earlier reported that dozens had been killed or injured.
Meanwhile, the army has resumed its special operation in Slavyansk on Friday evening. The headquarters of the people’s self-defense is under snipers’ fire, according to Itar-Tass. There are reports of injuries among protesters.
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Three injured as Ukrainian military take control of Kramatorsk military airfield in Donetsk Oblast
The poster reads “Don’t shoot the citizens of Kramatorsk.”
© Anastasia Vlasova
KRAMATORSK, Ukraine — For 30-year old Oleksiy, April 15 wasn’t a good day. He was one of 300 or so Russian-backed militants from Kramatorsk who attempted to take over the Ukrainian military airfield in Donetsk Oblast’s Kramatorsk.
But Ukraine’s army repelled them, in one of the first — and Ukrainians hope not the last — battlefield victories since April 6, when Kremlin-supported and heavily armed insurgents started taking over key government buildings and installations throughout Ukraine’s most populous oblast.
But contrary to Russian media reports that 11 people were killed, the Ukrainian military operation left only three wounded — including Oleksiy, who refused to give his full name. He was lucky to get away with a grazed hip when Ukrainian officers shot him. Two others weren’t so lucky and were hospitalized with more serious gunshot wounds. They are expected to live, however.
“Our guys only had three machine guns with them, and they weren’t the first to shoot. The soldiers started shooting at us when we just tried to enter the base,” said Oleksiy, who sounded surprised that he couldn’t enter a Ukrainian military base with a machine gun. His side got off some gunshots, but all missed their targets.
However, the crowd was ready for more violent attacks: They prepared dozens of Molotov cocktails, but never used them — just left them there, near the airfield gates.
The military airfield near Kramatorsk, a city of some 250,000 people, has been out of use for years.
However, when pro-Russian separatist protests escalated in Donetsk Oblast over the weekend, the old airfield sparkled suspicion among the local protesters. They expected the Ukrainian army to put it to use to bring troops to suppress the uprising, so they kept watch over it since April 12 and tried to gain entry on April 15 — which turned out to be a poor decision.
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A helicopter seen in the background of a UN flag (archive)
ST. PETERSBURG, May 15. /ITAR-TASS/. A response to Ukraine’s use of UN symbols on helicopter gunships which Ukrainian military forces use in a punitive operation near the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk is a matter of the international organization’s secretariat, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told reporters on Thursday.
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