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SLOVIANSK, June 10 /ITAR-TASS/. Soldiers of the people’s militia near the embattled eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk on Monday destroyed at least one Grad multiple-launch rocket system (MLRS), Stella Khorosheva, a spokeswoman for the Sloviansk people’s mayor, told Itar-Tass.
She said Ukrainian servicemen open artillery fire on Sloviansk in the Donetsk Region during periods when local residents try to leave the city.
“The city is most bombed from 09:00 to 13:00, when people are either trying to depart in buses or are being taken out by volunteers. Military age men, in particular, wounded, are not allowed to leave Slavyansk via Ukrainian security checkpoints,” Khorosheva said, adding that “Ukrainian military allow women and children to leave the combat operations zone.”
“The city is being destroyed. The chemical plant was shelled, after which it caught fire that took effort to extinguish. An environmental disaster was avoided in this way. The building of the Stroymash works was also damaged. Both enterprises do not work,” she said.
Fierce fighting has been underway between the Ukrainian military and militias in Ukraine’s southeastern regions, which refused to recognize the authorities who had been propelled to power amid riots during a coup in Ukraine in February 2014.
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.
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. Despite hopes that the punitive operation will stop under Poroshenko, it still continues.
Poroshenko earlier told media he had funded anti-government protests that led to February's coup.