Ukrainian military shell downtown Slavyansk in eastern Ukraine

Ukrainian military shell downtown Slavyansk in eastern UkraineThe Voice of Russia

Kiev-controlled military units briefly shelled Slavyansk city center  in eastern Ukraine with heavy artillery, said Stella Khorosheva, spokeswoman for people’s mayor of Slavyansk, Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, said on Saturday in comments reported by Itar-Tass. “They have fallen silent now,” Khorosheva said. “They usually start shelling in the morning and evening. There are no data on destruction or those injured yet. Fire was send to the city center.”

Earlier a militia representative told Itar-Tass that the gun fire was from the Karachun Mountain. He said “intense fire from mortars and howitzers” lasted a few hours.

Main Ukrainian artillery strikes took place in the Artema district, town center and the village of Semenovka. According to militia, gunfire could be heard in the area of Kramatorsk airport and near the intersection from Kharkiv-Rostov to Krasny Liman, where there is a Ukrainian army checkpoint.

On May 29-30 night, a children’s hospital came under fire from the Ukrainian military. A children’s clinic was also damaged. A militia spokesman said children had been inside but were unharmed. The chief physician at the hospital said “a wall was partly destroyed, over 100 windows were smashed”.

On May 28, as a result of the artillery shelling of Artema, a residential district in Slavyansk, a shell broke through the roof of a school. Children and teachers hid in the basement and were unhurt. Four people were killed when the same area was shelled on May 27.

Russian children’s rights ombudsman, Pavel Astakhov, quoted the Donetsk Region’s healthcare department as saying seven children were injured by bullets on occasions when the Ukrainian army opened fire on residential districts of Slavyansk.

There was a coup in Ukraine in February and the country has been in turmoil ever since. A new government was brought to power amid riots as President Viktor Yanukovich fled the country citing security concerns.

Massive protests against the new Ukrainian authorities erupted in Ukraine’s Russian-speaking southeastern territories after the secession of the Crimean Peninsula, which declared independence on March 11 and joined Russia on March 18 following a referendum.

Demonstrators in southeastern regions, who’s demands include the federalization of Ukraine, seized government buildings. Kiev has been conducting what it has dubbed “an antiterrorism operation” against pro-federalization activists. Russia, which does not recognize the new Kiev authorities, has said the operation, which has already claimed dozens of lives, is punitive.

The eastern Ukrainian Donetsk and Lugansk regions held referendums on May 11, in which most voters supported independence from Ukraine.

Ukraine held a presidential election organised by the coup-imposed authorities on Sunday, May 25. Billionaire businessman and politician Pyotr Poroshenko won with 54.7% of the vote, according to the latest information from the Ukrainian Central Election Commission. Poroshenko’s closest rival, Batkivshchina party leader, ex-premier Yulia Timoshenko gained 12.82%

Denis Pushilin, chairman of the Supreme Council presidium of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), told Itar-Tass on Tuesday that more than 50 militiamen and 20-50 civilians had died since Ukrainian law enforcers re-launched their military operation in Donetsk on Monday, the day after the presidential election.

Clashes near the Sergey Prokofyev International Airport in Donetsk started on Monday morning. Ukraine’s law enforcers used attack aircraft, including fighters and combat helicopters. Fighting in the area was ongoing all day and throughout the night.

Slavyansk militia asks Ukraine army not to fire at purification facilities using liquid chlorine

Local militiamen have cautioned the Ukrainian Armed Forces against carrying out strikes against the city of Slavyansk’s water purification facilities that use liquid chlorine in their operations. “We have to note that the city of Slavyansk has purification facilities that use liquid chlorine. And if the National Guard or the Ukrainian army starts to fire at them, a catastrophe will become inevitable,” a militia spokesman has said, reaffirming the absence of any toxic agents in Slavyansk.

Ukraine’s acting defense minister, Mikhail Koval, said earlier he feared that militiamen could blow up “containers filled with toxic agents” in Slavyansk.

“There are plenty of these containers [in Slavyansk],” Koval said at a press briefing on Friday. “The separatists are preparing to blow them up,” he added.

The Slavyansk militia headquarters responded to Koval’s remarks by saying that “we have no explosive or toxic mixtures. Why should we blow up our own city?”

Chemical weapons used against self-defense in Mariupol – pro-federalization activists

The leaders of the “Donetsk People’s Republic” claimed that self-defense forces in Mariupol came under a chemical attack when the City Council building was being stormed by Kiev-controlled armed units.

“Kiev bears the entire responsibility not only for their state agencies’ actions, but also for the actions by citizens who illegally apply means of chemical warfare,” the statement says.

“Armed groups controlled by Kiev used unidentified chemical weapons on May 6 while storming the City Council headquarters,” the foreign ministry of the “Donetsk People’s Republic” said in a statement, posted in the Donetsk “people’s governor” Pavel Gubarev’s Facebook account.

“The defenders of the City Council have left the contaminated area. Many of them had their breathing systems damaged, which is likely to have consequences and probably be a danger to their lives,” the statement says.

The statement urges the world community to condemn the use of a toxic choking gas in Mariupol and to take comprehensive measures to subject the Kiev authorities to international isolation.”

The authors also urged Russia to influence the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons into organizing a full-scale probe in Mariupol into the use of chemical weapons by the Kiev authorities.”

The Ukrainian leadership has not commented on the information, Interfax reports.

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