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Self-defense fighters prevent group of uniformed people from getting into Sloviansk

Sloviansk's acting mayor says it probably was a reconnaissance team that had been probing into the system of the city’s defense
A barricade in Sloviansk AP Photo/Sergei Grits
A barricade in Sloviansk
© AP Photo/Sergei Grits

SLOVIANSK, April 16. /ITAR-TASS/. Self-defense guard fighters on Wednesday stopped a group of armed people in uniforms without insignia on the northern outskirts of Sloviansk, a city in Ukraine’s eastern much-troubled Donetsk region, the acting mayor of the city, Vyacheslav Ponomaryov who commands a self-defense battalion, told ITAR-TASS.

“The data we received says a group of about fifteen unknown people wearing grayish uniforms without insignia tried to get into the city about an hour ago,” Ponomaryov said. “They arrived at the northern boundary of Sloviansk on three white jeeps but were stopped by self-defense guard fighters.”

“An exchange of fire ensued that lasted about thirty minutes,” he said. “We didn’t receive any information on casualties or wounds.”

He expressed a supposition that the fighters had stopped a reconnaissance team that had been probing into the system of the city’s defense.

Ponomaryov thinks the team consisted of the service of the Jaguar special assignment forces regiment reporting to the Western Territorial Command of Ukraine’s Interior Troops.

He believes a similar recon team consisting of about ten servicemen had made an attempt to get into the city from the opposite end. It also resulted in an exchange of fire, in which no one was killed or injured.

The attackers apparently retreated upon seeing it was impossible to penetrate the city.

Ponomaryov described the situation in Sloviansk as generally normal. “We continue fortifying our positions and people are in encouraging moods,” he said, adding that more defenders of the city were arriving in Donetsk and other cities.