LUHANSK, June 26 (RIA Novosti) – A column of Ukrainian armored military vehicles has arrived near the eastern village of Zheltoe, approximately 20 kilometers from the city of Luhansk, the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic’s Defense Ministry Press Secretary Alexei Toporov told RIA Novosti on Thursday.
The secretary said the column arrived in the morning, stating “They are surrounding Luhansk.”
Toporov added that as of 12:30 p.m. local time [09:30 GMT] there have been no clashes between the Ukrainian forces and the self-proclaimed independence supporters.
There is currently no information on the number or further movement of Ukrainian armored vehicles in the area.
The situation in the city of Luhansk currently remains calm.
Since mid-April, Kiev authorities have been conducting a special military operation in the east of Ukraine to suppress the pro-independence movement.
The violence intensified after the people’s republics of Luhansk and Donetsk declared their independence from Ukraine after holding referendums on self-determination. Hundreds of people, including civilians, have died in both regions over the past months.
On June 20, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko ordered a cease fire for all military personnel for one week. Later, Donetsk and Luhansk independence forces also promised to stop all attacks until June 27. The truce has been shaky ever since, with both parties blaming each other for new bouts of violence.