“By today, none of peaceful civilians in Sloviansk and Kramatorsk has been hurt,” he pledged.
He also said that the operation was conducted not against the Ukrainian people, but against “the subversive group of the Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) of the General Staff of the Russian Federation.” He believes that morning shots on Ukrainian helicopters were made not by the people’s police fighters, but by “Russian special task force.”
Meanwhile, a representative of people’s militia of Sloviansk told ITAR-TASS that Ukrainian special task force units early on Friday “launched a total mopping-up operation in the city,” during which armored vehicles and aircraft were used.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has expressed indignation over the beginning of a punitive military operation in Sloviansk and demanded “that those who declared themselves authority in Kiev” should stop it immediately.
“Russia is indignant at the beginning of a punitive military operation in Sloviansk with involvement of terrorists from the Right Sector and other ultranationalist organisations,” the ministry said in a statement. “Units of the Ukrainian army are using tanks, other heavy equipment, combat helicopters that deliver missile strikes on the protesters. There have been reports of deaths and injuries.