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People’s militia retreat from Sloviansk and arrive in Donetsk

July 06, 2014, 1:44 UTC+3 DONETSK
A column of armored vehicles under the flags of the Donetsk People’s Republic entered the city on one of the bridges at 18:00 local time (19:00 Moscow time)
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© ITAR-TASS/Zurab Javakhadze
© ITAR-TASS/Zurab Javakhadze
© ITAR-TASS/Zurab Javakhadze
© ITAR-TASS/Zurab Javakhadze
© ITAR-TASS/Zurab Javakhadze
© ITAR-TASS/Zurab Javakhadze

DONETSK, July 06, 1:09 /ITAR-TASS/. Representatives of people’s militia of the Donetsk People’s Republic on Saturday arrived in Donetsk from Sloviansk.

A column of armored vehicles under the flags of the Donetsk People’s Republic entered the city on one of the bridges at 18:00 local time (19:00 Moscow time). It headed for the city center and drove into the yard of the Donetsk regional state administration where the local residents met the militias with applause.

After that, the people’s militias drove to the building of Ukraine’s Security Service. They tried to calm down the local residents saying, “Do not be afraid! We are here to protect you. These are not tanks which you should fear.”

The militias said they were very sorry that they had to leave Sloviansk and surrender it to the Ukrainian troops. “But, we received an order and we had to obey it. Had I said that I would stay in Sloviansk, no one would have shot me. I would have been my personal decision. But the commanders ordered us to retreat. So, we are here,” said one self-defense fighter who had just arrived in Donetsk from Sloviansk.

It is still unknown for how long the militias are going to stay in Donbas. The situation is unpredictable.

“Tomorrow, you will know everything. We cannot disclose our command’s plans,” the self-defense fighters said.

“Incessant bombardments of peaceful civilians are under way in Slavyansk and Kramatorsk. It is absolute insanity. We simply could not sit at home and watch that from Donetsk,” they said. Earlier on Saturday, Ukraine’s parliament-appointed Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk announced that the security operation was over in Sloviansk and Kramatorsk because the Ukrainian army had re-established control over those cities.

Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko said that the order “to narrow the ring around” the self-defense fighters remained in force.

“You should continue an operation to liberate the Donetsk and Luhansk regions,” Poroshenko’s press service said.

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