3 June 2014, 12:54

181 killed in east Ukraine military operation - acting prosecutor general

181 killed in east Ukraine military operation - acting prosecutor general

A total of 181 people, including 59 Ukrainian Armed Forces servicemen, have died as a result of armed clashes in the eastern regions of Ukraine, the country's acting Prosecutor General Oleg Magnitsky said at a press conference on Tuesday. "On the whole, 181 people were killed, including 59 servicemen, and another 293 were injured in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions," he said.

It is unclear whether or not Magnitsky's estimates include the casualties on the side of self-defense in the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, Interfax reports.

Helicopters conducting strikes against village near Ukraine's Slavyansk - self-defense

Helicopter gunships of the Ukrainian Armed Forces are carrying out strikes against the village of Semyonovka outside of Slavyansk, entailing casualties and leaving scores injured, a Slavyansk self-defense spokesman told Interfax. "Several minutes ago two [Sukhoi] Su-25 airplanes conducted strikes against the village. After them, five helicopters are now launching massive airstrikes against the village. There have been casualties and injuries both among militiamen and the civilian population," the spokesman said.

The village of Vostochny, located near Semyonovka, has also become the target of airstrikes, he said.

Self-defense claim that howitzers are being used along with combat aircraft.

One civilian killed in Ukraine army airstrikes against village near Slavyansk - self-defense

Ukrainian combat aircraft have carried out two airstrikes against the village of Semyonovka on the outskirts of Slavyansk, "Southeast Front" spokesman Kostantin Knirik told Interfax on Tuesday.

"Two airstrikes have been launched against Semyonovka. One of them hit a roadblock, and the second one hit immediately the village. At least one civilian resident has been killed and scores have been injured," Knirik said.

He also said that Ukrainian soldiers manning a checkpoint outside of Slavyansk had not allowed two buses carrying children and their parents to leave the city.

"Two buses full of children tried to leave the city, but they were stopped by Ukrainian security forces. Furthermore, they [the people on the buses] were told explicitly: turn back or we will start to bombard you," Knirik said.

Intense exchange of fire reported near Ukraine's Semyonovka, Slavyansk

Ukrainian acting Interior Minister Arsen Avakov has announced that the military operation outside the city of Slavyansk is proceeding in an "active offensive phase".

The Ukrainian Armed Forces had destroyed the militia's roadblocks and engineer installations near the village of Semyonovka by 7:45 am local time, he said.

The interior minister also called on the civilian population of Slavyansk, Kramatorsk and Krasniy Lyman to stay indoors in order to avoid risks to their life.

The Donetsk region's militiamen, for their part, have reported a large-scale offensive by the Ukrainian Armed Forces' armored hardware on the city of Slavyansk.

"Convoys of armored vehicles are moving toward Slavyansk. Their numbers exceed the number of vehicles already deployed around the city by several times. Apparently, they are preparing to run tanks over us," a local militia spokesman told Interfax.

Self-defense reports casualties in armed clashes near Ukraine's Kramatorsk

Local self-defense and Ukrainian Armed Forces soldiers exchanged fire outside of the Kramatorsk airport, a spokesman for the city self-defense headquarters told Interfax.

"A serious gun battle is underway outside Kramatorsk. Three local residents have been killed in the village of Yasnohirka," the spokesman said.

The self-defense also reported continuing strikes against the city of Slavyansk.

"As a result of today's [June 2] strikes against the city of Slavyansk, one civilian resident has died. The strikes targeted mainly the village of Semenyovka and the city center," the Slavyansk "people's mayor", Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, told Interfax.

Kiev Air Force strikes on civilians is military crimes - Lugansk

Monday's air strike at the downtown part of the city of Lugansk is a military crime, Vladimir Inogorodsky, the chief of the press service of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People's Republic said Monday.

"Monday's attack is a military crime," he said.

"I was an immediate eyewitness of it and I saw the warplanes make approaches and open fire."

"Ukrainian mass media are spreading the assertions now that we blew ourselves up on our own," Inogorodsky said. "They not only pour out slander on us and deceive the international community but they also kill us."

He recalled that the Air Force had been used without notice against the population of a peaceful city "where children were playing in the streets."

A Ukrainian Air Force jet delivered a strike at the building of the Lugansk regional administration. The press service of the Lugansk People's Republic says it dropped cassette bombs, killing a minimum of five people as a result.

All the dead were peaceful Ukrainian citizens, the republic's government said.

Situation in Kramatorsk

Ukrainian volunteer guards have advanced on three armored cars from the building of the town hall of the eastern city of Kramatorsk, one of the epicenters of combat clashes in Eastern Ukraine, towards the local airdrome where fighting between volunteers and units of the army has been going on for several hours, the TASS news agency reports.

"The armored cars were moving by Parkovaya Street towards the airdrome, in the vicinity of which numerous blasts and incessant firing from large-caliber guns can be heard," a spokesman for the volunteers said.

In addition to this, reports spoke of combat clashes near the township of Yasnogorka and the administrative boundaries of the city.

"At this moment, we don't have any data on the victims," the spokesman said, adding that the current clashes were the most serious ones ever since the outbreak of the armed standoff between the freedom fighters in the east and the forces loyal to the government in Kiev.

In the meantime, fighting between the opposition and the pro-Kiev armed units was underway in Slavyansk, a city 10 km away from Kramatorsk. Monday, artillery shelling disrupted electric power supplies to the township of Semyonovka near Slavyansk.

Earlier reports spoke of three persons killed as a result of an armed clash between the volunteers and the army units near Yasnogorka.

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