Ukraine says five pro-Russian insurgents killed in border battle

June 2, 2014 | By | Reply More

June 02, – At least five pro-Russia rebels were killed and another eight injured after they attempted to storm a military base in Ukraine close to the border with Russia. The separatists ambushed a guard post near the city of Luhansk early Monday morning. About 100 gunmen took part in the original offensive, with some firing rocket-propelled grenades from the roof of a nearby residential building.

hromedia Ukraine says five pro-Russian insurgents killed in border battle eu news3The border guards returned fire. The battle raged for hours, with 400-500 rebels reinforcing the attack.

Dramatic video footage shows one rebel shot in the head, apparently by a government sniper. Another shows a wounded separatist crawling through a field of tall grass.

Four government soldiers were critically injured and another seven hurt. Ukrainian jets eventually destroyed the rebels’ equipment and positions, said Vladyslav Seleznyov, a government spokesman, according to the Kyiv Post.

The fighting came as the Ukrainian military continued what Kiev calls an “anti-terrorist” operation designed to wipe out pro-Russia gunmen in the eastern provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk. Both regions have declared independence from Ukraine and say they are now autonomous “people’s republics”.

Ukraine’s president-elect, Petro Poroshenko, who will meet Barack Obama in Warsaw on Wednesday, has vowed to extinguish the rebellion using military means.

His government says Russia is secretly sending armed men across the border, including volunteers from Chechnya. The Kremlin – which denies involvement and has called for peace talks – is using its intelligence agencies to coordinate the anti-Kiev insurgency, Poroshenko says.

The US treasury secretary, Jacob Lew, said Washington was prepared to push for tougher economic sanctions against Russia at a G7 summit in Brussels on Thursday. Moscow was still trying to destabilise its western neighbour, Lew said. “There is evidence that Russia continues to allow the free flow of weapons, funds and fighters across its borders and president Putin’s next steps are still not clear.”

He added that president Obama “has given us the authority to take even more powerful action if Russia continues to support armed separatists in eastern Ukraine.”

At least two people were killed on Monday in an explosion in Luhansk’s regional administration, one of a string of official buildings occupied by separatists since April.

Press journalist for HRO media – Ignacio Damigo contributed to this report.

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Category: European Crises

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