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'Active phase' of military operation resumed in eastern Ukraine

April 23, 2014, 12:39 UTC+3

Law enforcement agencies are "working towards the elimination of all armed groups" in Kramatorsk, Sloviansk and other cities in Donetsk and Luhansk regions

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© AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov

KIEV, April 23. / ITAR-TASS /. Active phase of military operation has been resumed in the eastern regions of Ukraine, parliament-appointed First Deputy Prime Minister Vitaliy Yarema told reporters. According to him, it was done "in accordance with the order" by the Verkhovna Rada appointed Acting President and Speaker of Parliament Oleksandr Turchynov. Yarema added that law enforcement bodies are "working towards the elimination of all armed groups" in Kramatorsk, Sloviansk and other cities in Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
He also claimed that law enforcement officers did not undertake any actions last night.
Turchynov April 22 demanded that the country's security agencies should resume a military operation in the east.

“I demand that security services carry out effective counter-terrorist activities aimed at defending Ukrainian citizens living in the country’s east from terrorists,” Turchynov stated.


 Local lawmaker among fatalities

One of two men who were killed near urban settlement Raigorodok in east Ukraine’s Donetsk region was identified as lawmaker of Horlivka city council from Batkivshchyna parliamentary party Volodymyr Rybak, adviser to the Ukrainian Interior Minister Stanislav Rechinsky and First Deputy Head of Donetsk-Kryvyi Rih Rog Republic of Ukrainian Interior Ministry Serhiy Redka said. The text of their statement was posted on the website of the republican interior ministry. Rybak went missing on April 17. On April 19 two men were found dead with traces of violent death in Sloviansk district, the ministry stated. A criminal case was opened for illegal deprivation of freedom or kidnapping of a person.

Accusation of nonfeasance

Ukrainian Prosecutor’s General Office has accused Interior Ministry and Security Service employees of nonfeasance. The statement published on the official website of the state institution noted that “unsanctioned seizing of administration buildings”, including that of the Interior Ministry and Security Service of Ukraine, “point to the nonfeasance of security officers”. The authority says about the failure to calm tensions in Donetsk, Luhansk, Odessa and Kharkiv regions, where the contingent of security services exceeds the number of protesters.

Earlier, Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs notified about the suspension of the “active phase” of the special raid in eastern regions. The diplomats stated this commenting “on steps of the Ukrainian side towards implementing the Geneva accords”.

Large-scale anti-terrorist operation

On April 13 the Ukrainian National Security Council declared a large-scale anti-terrorist operation, in which the Ukrainian armed forces are deployed, in retaliation for protest acts staged in the east of Ukraine during which the supporters of federalism seized administrative buildings. The protesters who do not recognize the present Kiev administration have been demanding a referendum on the establishment of a federal state system in Ukraine.

At present, the troops have entered towns in the Donetsk, Luhansk, Odessa and Kharkiv regions. Local militia has been put on alert. Dozens of casualties wounded in the clashes have been reported.

The situation has been particularly tense in the town of Sloviansk in the Donetsk region, where militants of the Pravy Sector (Right sector) shelled a protesters' block post on the night when Easter was celebrated. Casualties among civilians were reported there as well.

The present Kiev authorities had to admit that the protesters' demands were backed by the population in regions in the east of Ukraine. The Ukrainian Prosecutor’s General accused the Interior and security departments of the Donetsk and neighboring regions of "inertness". Tension in the Donetsk, Luhansk, Odessa and Kherson regions has not been lifted, the Ukrainian Prosecutor's General said.

The latest reports from Donetsk said local police refused to take part in the troops' operation against the supporters of federalism.

Meanwhile, the Kiev administration has declared that the operation would be conducted under OSCE control. The Kiev administration claims that "the resolution to resume the operation was adopted in line with the agreements on steps on de-escalation of the conflict in Ukraine with no violence used which were negotiated at a recent conference in Geneva.




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