Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Togo : will president Faure Gnassingbe win a third 5-year term ?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Controversy reigns 100 years after the Armenian genocide

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Migrant Deaths: Politicians Divided after Emergency EU Summit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The G-Word: Turkey and the Armenian Genocide

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

What will the new French healthcare bill change?

Read more

#TECH 24

Space Special: Happy Birthday, Hubble!

Read more

FOCUS

Video: Meeting Marseille's Armenian community

Read more

REPORTERS

Saving French soldiers' WWI trench carvings

Read more

ENCORE!

Armenia, 100 years on

Read more

Europe

Ukraine troops launch assault on rebel stronghold, take checkpoint

© AFP

Video by Douglas HERBERT

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-04-24

Ukrainian troops on Thursday launched an assault on the eastern rebel stronghold of Slaviansk, taking control of a checkpoint north of the city and prompting rebels to evacuate civilians from the occupied city hall and take up defensive positions.

According to an AFP journalist, gunfire was heard after at least five Ukrainian armoured personnel carriers took up position at the entry to the town.

The Ukrainian Interior Ministry said in a statement that military and special police forces had killed “up to five terrorists” in clashes with insurgents when destroying three checkpoints outside the city, while a spokeswoman for the militants, Stella Khorocheva, could only confirm two dead on the pro-Russian side.

Khorocheva told AFP that all civilians had been ordered out of the insurgent-held town hall as the Ukrainian soldiers entered the city.

"The armed men handling the defence of the town hall will remain," she said.

The fighting was the first since acting President Oleksandr Turchinov on Tuesday ordered the resumption of military operations in east Ukraine, where pro-Russia protesters and masked gunmen have seized government buildings and set up checkpoints along the roads.

Kiev claimed it had inflicted stinging defeats on pro-Kremlin rebels in other parts of east Ukraine on Thursday, retaking control of the town hall in the southeastern port city of Mariupol and repelling an attack by heavily-armed militants at an army base in the eastern town of Artemivsk.

They were the first military successes announced by Ukraine's Western-backed government since pro-Russian militants seized control of a string of towns in the country's southeast over the past several weeks.

Later Thursday, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said that Kiev’s deployment of troops in eastern Ukraine was a “serious crime against its own people”, warning that such assaults would have repercussions.

"That is simply a punitive measure that will without question have consequences... including for our inter-governmental relations," he said, but without specifying the nature of consequences.

(FRANCE 24 with AP, AFP, REUTERS)

Date created : 2014-04-24

  • UKRAINE

    Video: Mayor in east Ukraine ready ‘to turn Slaviansk into battlefield’

    Read more

  • UKRAINE

    US soldiers arrive in Poland as Ukraine crisis continues

    Read more

  • UKRAINE

    Ukraine to relaunch offensive in the east after politican 'tortured'

    Read more

COMMENT(S)