SLAVIANSK, May 5 (RIA Novosti) – A woman has been shot dead and another six people were injured as Ukraine’s “anti-terrorist” operation descended Monday on a checkpoint outside the restive eastern city of Slaviansk, the local hospital told RIA Novosti.
The woman reportedly stepped out onto her balcony and was hit by a stray bullet as Ukrainian army troops clashed with the city’s self-defense forces in the city’s suburbs.
It was earlier reported that three people were injured, but the toll has since doubled. Skirmishes are continuing on the outskirts of the beleaguered anti-coup stronghold, and artillery shots can be heard near the city, a RIA Novosti correspondent said.
Protesters have been rebuilding the barricades around Slaviansk overnight as Ukrainian troops encircled the city in a bid to wrest control from pro-referendum demonstrators and self-defense forces.
Last Friday, the interim authorities in Kiev declared an active phase of their “anti-terrorist” operation against pro-federalization activists in eastern regions of the country.
The Russian Foreign Ministry called on Kiev to immediately halt the crackdown, saying it was a breach of its responsibilities under the April 17 Geneva accords on de-escalation of the Ukrainian crisis and has jeopardized the implementation of the agreement.