05 July 2014

Ukraine 7/5: Government Ejecting Rebels From Strongholds

The 'rebels' have abandoned their Sloviansk stronghold.

Pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine say they have evacuated their eastern stronghold of Sloviansk amid a large-scale offensive by the military.

Defence Minister Valeriy Heletey said the Ukrainian flag was flying over the city council building.

Separatist leaders said fighters had relocated in the face of the army's "overwhelming numerical superiority".

Ukrainian forces launched an offensive against the separatists this week after a 10-day ceasefire broke down.

The BBC's David Stern in Kiev says the military's capture of Sloviansk - where the eastern insurgency began in April - is a major victory for the government.

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