KIEV, May 14 (RIA Novosti) – One federalization protester was killed and four wounded in a clash with the Ukrainian military near the city of Kramatorsk on Tuesday, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense said Wednesday on Facebook.
A column of paratroopers was ambushed by federalists Tuesday near the Oktyabrskoe village, 20 kilometers from Kramatorsk. According to the Interior Ministry, the column was attacked by 30-40 people.
The Defense Ministry earlier reported six dead and eight wounded, and the Security Service of Ukraine confirmed there were seven victims. On Wednesday, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine clarified the information about the gunfight victims, saying six paratroopers were killed and nine were wounded.
"With the help of reliable sources we confirm that at least one of the attackers was killed, four were gravely wounded," the ministry reported. For now they remain in the first municipal hospital in Slaviansk.
Following a regime change in late February, the citizens of the predominantly Russian-speaking southeastern regions of Ukraine refused to recognize the legitimacy of the country’s interim government and called for federalization and referendums on greater autonomy, with rallies sweeping through the region.
Acting Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov ordered the launch of a special operation last month to crack down on pro-federalization protests that have been spreading across southeastern Ukraine since a regime change in Kiev in February.
Ukrainian troops encircled Slaviansk in a bid to wrest control from pro-referendum demonstrators and self-defense forces. At least a dozen protesters and civilians have been killed in hostilities in the city so far.