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Ukrainian Troops Kill Several Protesters In East

Interfax
April 15, 2014

Up to 11 people killed in Kramatorsk airfield battle – Rossiya 24

MOSCOW: Between four and eleven people have been killed in a battle at the airport in Kramatorsk, a correspondent for the Rossiya 24 television channel said.

“Indeed, there are fatalities. Efforts are under way to clarify their number, which is between four and eleven people,” the correspondent reported live on Tuesday.

As a result of clashes the Ukrainian troops opened fire against self-defense fighters who tried to stop paratroopers from landing at the airfield in Kramatorsk, he said.

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Russian Information Agency Novosti
April 15, 2014

4 Protesters Killed in Army Attack on Airfield in Eastern Ukraine

SLAVIANSK (Donetsk Region): At least four protesters were killed and two other wounded on Tuesday as the Ukrainian troops stormed an airfield in Ukraine’s eastern city of Kramatorsk, a spokesman for local People’s Militia told RIA Novosti.

“There are four dead and two wounded at the airfield. They are all militia,” the source said, adding that no casualties among the government troops had been reported.

“The fighting for the airfield is over as the militia has reterated and the Ukrainian side took control of the airfield,” he said.

Eastern Ukraine has been swept by pro-federalisation rallies since March.

Federalization supporters in Kharkiv, Donetsk, Gorlovka, Slaviansk and Kramatorsk refuse to recognize the legitimacy of the current Ukrainian government and are urging interim authorities to hold referendums similar to the one that has been held in Crimea in March and led to its reunification with Russia.

In an effort to suppress the protesters Ukraine’s parliamentary speaker and acting President Olexander Turchynov ordered Monday a special anti-terrorist operation in the country’s east, involving the use of armed forces.

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Russian Information Agency Novosti
April 15, 2014

Russia Halts Handover of Arms to Ukraine to Prevent Civilian Bloodshed

MOSCOW: The Russian Defense Ministry on Tuesday suspended the transfer of weapons from Crimea to Ukraine in an effort to prevent Kiev authorities from using them against pro-federalization protesters in southeastern regions of the country.

“I would like to reiterate that Russia pledged … to restrict the delivery of weaponry to hot spots,” Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said, adding that southeastern Ukraine falls into that category as pro-federalization protests spread through the region.

“We are concerned that this weaponry could be used against civilians taking part in protests in eastern and southeastern regions of Ukraine,” he said.

Antonov also urged Western countries to follow Russia’s example and apply wisdom and restraint in the possible delivery of arms to Ukraine, drawing on the same logic.

Following Russia’s reunification with Crimea, the Russian military has so far handed over nearly 400 pieces of Ukrainian military equipment, including eight helicopters and three warships, to the new authorities in Kiev.

Late last month, Crimea became a new subject of the Russian Federation following the ratification of the reunification treaty. Although widely denounced by the West, the referendum in Crimea was fully compliant with international law and must be recognized as legitimate, according to the Russian government.

Given the territorial change, Russia started handing weapons and military equipment over to Ukraine that previously belonged to the country’s armed forces.

Last month, activists in the eastern Ukraine started pro-federalization rallies, with protesters in Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv calling for a referendum on the status of their respective regions.

Ukraine’s acting President Oleksander Turchynov announced the launch of a “full-scale anti-terrorist operation,” including military forces, against pro-federalization protesters.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has called the interim government’s decision to use force, including a military crackdown, against the protesters an extremely dangerous development.

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