06 May 2014

Ukraine 5/6 - Power Shifts

"Special Police" moving to control Odessa.

Ukraine's Interior Minister drafted a new special forces unit into the southern port city of Odessa on Monday after what he called the "outrageous" failure of police to tackle pro-Russian separatists in a weekend of violence that killed dozens.

Fighting continued near the eastern town of Slaviansk where Ukrainian troops have been, somewhat tentatively, pressing a campaign to end pro-Russian rebellion. A Reuters correspondent said gunfire seemed to be coming closer to the city centre.

The violence in Odessa, a southwestern port with a broad ethnic mix from Russians and Ukrainians to Georgians and Tatars, was seen as a turning point in Kiev, encroaching for the first time into an area beyond the Russian-speaking east.
Meanwhile, are rebels "retreating" in Sloviansk?

Pro-Russian militants just outside Sloviansk have retreated amid attacks by Ukrainian troops, reports say.

Government forces took control of a TV tower in the suburbs and rebels were pulled back deeper into the city, the Russian Interfax news agency said.

Earlier reports told of heavy gunfire, apparently closer to the centre than in recent days.

But a BBC team which has recently reached the centre of Sloviansk says the city is currently quiet.

Four Ukrainian soldiers were killed and 30 injured in an incident in Sloviansk, the interior ministry said.

Four ambulances were seen near the area and at least two separatist armoured vehicles and several rebels were seen in retreat, Reuters reported.

No comments: