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Ukrainian military contingent involved in punitive raid estimated at 30,000 servicemen

May 06, 2014, 19:02 UTC+3 SLAVYANSK/DONETSK

In addition, according to self-defense forces' representative, armored vehicles and heavy armaments are being deployed at Sloviansk

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SLOVIANSK/DONETSK, May 06. /ITAR-TASS/. The numerical strength of Ukrainian armed forces’ group involved in the punitive raid in the Donetsk region is 30,000 people, coordinator of Donbass defense Vasily Kiselyov told ITAR-TASS on Tuesday.

“The numerical strength of the group of the governing junta from Kiev is more than 30 thousand troops, including the National Guard,” he said, stressing that the Kiev authorities now “have started to thrust into combat also conscript soldiers.”

In addition, according to Kiselyov, armored vehicles and heavy armaments are being deployed at Sloviansk. In particular, he said, “artillery squadrons have already been deployed near Sloviansk.” According to latest reports, two convoys of vehicles — one from Izyum (Kharkiv region) and the other from Dobropolye (Donetsk region) are moving towards the city.

Co-chair of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic Denis Pushilin told ITAR-TASS on Tuesday that the airport of the city of Donetsk that was not controlled by the people’s militia forces had been closed in the morning. “All its personnel were ordered at 14:00 (11:00 GMT) to leave the premises and working places,” he said. He supposed that the airport could be used for the delivery of “illegal weapons,” including heavy armored vehicles, to the area.

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