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Ukraine’s Sloviansk under heavy fire from armored vehicles

Spokeswoman for the people's mayor of Sloviansk says the humanitarian situation in the region continues deteriorating

SLOVIANSK, June 06. /ITAR-TASS/. Combat armored vehicles, including tanks, of pro-Kiev military forces are actively attacking and shelling the eastern Ukrainian city of Sloviansk, a spokeswoman for the Sloviansk people’s mayor said on Friday.

“We can hear salvo fire of howitzers, and also have information that the city was shelled with jet-propelled projectiles,” Stella Khorosheva told an ITAR-TASS correspondent. “The highway linking Sloviansk and the (nearby) settlement of Semyonovka is crammed with military hardware.”

She also said that residents of Mandrychino, a municipal district in Sloviansk, sustained grave injuries as a result of the shelling.

“Ambulances cannot reach the wounded. They are bleeding to death in basements,” Khorosheva said.


Humanitarian situation in south-east

The humanitarian situation in the city keeps deteriorating, she said, and pensioners are treated to rations near the building of the municipal council.

“Genocide on behalf of the Kiev authorities is at the full steam,” she said. “They (pensioners) paid taxes all their lives, and now the authorities terminated all social payments intended for them.”

She also said the situation is also grave with medicines in the city as there was an extreme shortage of antibiotics, painkillers and bandaging materials.


Military operation against federalization supporters

Residents of Ukraine’s south-eastern territories, mainly the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, staged massive protests against the coup-imposed Ukrainian authorities. Their urge to defend their rights was apparently prompted by Crimea’s accession to Russia in mid-March. Demonstrators in the south-east, who have been demanding Ukraine’s federalization, seized several government buildings.

A military operation, conducted by Kiev against federalization supporters in Ukraine's south-east territories, has already claimed dozens of lives, including civilians. The Donetsk and Luhansk regions held referendums on May 11, in which most voters supported independence from Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly dismissed Western claims that Russia could in any way be involved in protests in Ukraine's south-east.

Russia has been insistently urging Kiev to stop the military operation, which involves armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation, and engage in dialogue with the south-east.