There are reports from the scene of a heavy gunfight in the city of Slavyansk in eastern Ukraine, where anti-government protesters seized several government buildings. It comes after Kiev announced an “anti-terrorist operation” against the protesters.
People tweeting from the scene say there are helicopters flying over the defiant city in the Donetsk region. There are also reports of infantry vehicles being seen nearby.
The shooting is reportedly happening at a checkpoint, which was established by protesters Saturday evening on the outskirts of the city.
Coup-appointed Interior Minister Arsen Avakov on Sunday has announced an “anti-terrorist operation” in the city of Slavyansk, eastern Ukraine, where anti-Kiev activists seized several governmental buildings on Saturday. He made the announcement on his Facebook page, which he regularly uses to report on his ministry’s activities.
Avakov already announced “zero-tolerance policy towards armed terrorists” in Slavyansk and the deployment of anti-terrorist troops in the city on Saturday morning. However no action materialized, as security troops reportedly refused to follow an order to attack protesters.
Russia has warned that if Kiev uses force against anti-Maidan protests in eastern Ukraine, this would undermine the effort to convene a four-party conference on resolving the crisis in the country, which would include the US, the EU, Russia and Ukraine.