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Ukrainian military shell downtown Slavyansk

June 10, 2014, 2:05 UTC+3 SLAVYANSK
“A few shells exploded in the city center,” Stella Khorosheva, spokeswoman for the city’s people’s mayor, said, adding that the shelling was less intense than the previous day and night
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© ITAR-TASS / EPA / MAXIM SHIPENKOV

SLOVIANSK, June 10 /ITAR-TASS/. Ukrainian military have resumed their artillery shelling of the east Ukrainian city of Sloviansk, Stella Khorosheva, spokeswoman for the city’s people’s mayor, said.

“A few shells exploded in the city center,” Khorosheva told Itar-Tass, adding that the shelling was less intense than the previous day and night.

She commented on media reports that Ukrainian military brought containers with chemical weapons to the airport in the city of Kramatorsk 10 kilometers from Sloviansk, which is controlled by Ukraine’s National Guard.

“We heard about chemical weapons long ago. We are not surprised at any actions on the part of Kiev,” the spokeswoman said.

The press service of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) did not confirm the report on chemical weapons.

The cities of Sloviansk and Donetsk in the Donetsk Region saw serious problems with cellular communications throughout Monday. The DPR press service told Itar-Tass that the Ukrainian army destroyed a mobile communications tower near Sloviansk the day before.

Fierce fighting has been underway between the Ukrainian military and militias in Ukraine’s southeastern regions, which refused to recognize the new Ukrainian authorities who had been propelled to power amid riots during a coup in Ukraine in February.

A punitive operation, being conducted by Kiev against federalization supporters in Ukraine's Southeast and involving armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation, has already claimed dozens of lives, including civilian.

Referendums were held in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions on May 11, in which most voters supported independence from Ukraine.

Billionaire businessman and politician Pyotr Poroshenko won the May 25 early presidential election in Ukraine set by the provisional Kiev authorities. He was sworn in on June 7. The punitive operation continues under him.

Poroshenko earlier told media he had funded anti-government protests that led to February's coup.

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