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The ministry said this had been done to deny the protesters an opportunity to get reinforcement.
Earlier in the day, Sergei Pashinsky, an interim acting chief of Ukraine’s “presidential administration”, declared the start of phase two of the armed operation near Sloviansk. He stated bluntly that the goal was to block the city.
Representatives of the people’s volunteer guard in Sloviansk said that only one transport route - a road leading to the regional capital Donetsk — remained unblocked until recently.