Self-defense forces leave Slavyansk, move to Kramatorsk - media
The leadership of the Donetsk People's Republic has confirmed that the local militia opposing the Ukrainian security forces has left Slavyansk, Russia's Channel One reported on Saturday.
"Slavyansk is under Ukrainian security forces' control. The militia had to leave the city early in the morning. The headquarters of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic has confirmed this to us," a news program host said. The news TV channel Rossiya-24 said Donetsk militia had fought their way out of Slavyansk, and their headquarters has been relocated to Kramatorsk.
On Thursday, Ukrainian troops surrounded the village of Nikolayevka near Slavyansk. The fighters trapped in the village continue to put up resistance.
Ukraine's security forces have eliminated the headquarters of the Donetsk People's Republic based in Artyomovsk, the country's Interior Minister Arsen Avakov has said. "An Interior Ministry's squadron has carried out a reconnaissance raid in Artyomovsk. The headquarters of the Donetsk People's Republic has been destroyed," Avakov wrote on Facebook.
Ukrainian President Petr Poroshenko announced July 1 the end to the ceasefire between pro-Kiev forces and independence supporters in the country's east.
Just a few hours after Poroshenko lifted the ceasefire the Ukrainian Army resumed fighting on the Russian-Ukrainian border in Lugansk Region.
Lugansk and Donetsk regions refused to recognize the legitimacy of the new Kiev authorities that came to power following the February regime change in the country.
The regions held referendums on self-determination and declared themselves independent states.
Soon after, the self-proclaimed republics started to form their own governments and law enforcement agencies.
In late June, the parliament of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic passed a constitutional law on confederation with the Lugansk People's Republic into the Union of People's Republics.