DONETSK, June 1 /ITAR-TASS/. Six self-defense fighters were killed as they attempted to take away the bodies of volunteer guards shot down by the Ukrainian military near Donetsk international airport over the week, the press office of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic said on Sunday.
“During an attempt to take away the bodies of self-defense militiamen, the Ukrainian army fired at an ambulance and self-defense fighters, killing six people,” the press office of the Donetsk People’s Republic said.
The leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic are going to turn to the Red Cross humanitarian institution with a request to help remove the bodies from the territory adjacent to the airport, the press office said.
Prime Minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic Alexander Borodai earlier said that about 60 self-defense forces and around 20 civilians had been killed in battles with the Ukrainian military near the Donetsk international airport.
Borodai said there were snipers near the airport controlled by the Ukrainian law-enforcers.
“Civilians continue to be killed every day. No one can give exact figures because access to the airport area is now impossible. We still can’t take away all the bodies and give the exact figure of how many people were killed,” Borodai said.
Ukraine has been in turmoil since a coup occurred in the country in February and President Viktor Yanukovych had to leave it for security reasons.
Massive protests against the coup-imposed Ukrainian authorities erupted in Ukraine’s southeastern territories, mainly the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. Demonstrators in the Southeast have been demanding Ukraine’s federalization.
A punitive operation by Kiev against federalization supporters has already claimed dozens of lives. The Donetsk and Lugansk regions held referendums on May 11, in which most voters supported independence from Ukraine.