Ukrainian Armed Forces Launch ‘Anti-Terrorist’ Operation Against Pro-Russian Separatists
Richard Balmforth and Gabriela Baczynska
Apr. 15, 2014
KIEV/KRAMATORSK, Ukraine (Reuters) – Ukrainian armed forces on Tuesday launched a “special operation” against militiamen in the country’s Russian speaking east, authorities said, recapturing a military airfield from pro-Moscow separatists.
Gunfire could be heard from the airfield at the town of Kramatorsk after a fighter jet swooped low over the area. Ukrainian troops were seen disembarking from helicopters.
A Reuters correspondent in Kramatorsk saw four military helicopters over the airport. Two of these landed and when troops stepped out and walked across the field, locals manning a barricade shouted “Shame! Go back home!”
Ukraine’s acting President Oleksander Turchinov had earlier announced that a military operation was under way to flush pro-Russian separatists out of the government buildings and facilities they have seized in about 10 towns and cities in the east over the last few days.
Turchinov issued a statement saying Ukraine had retaken the airfield in Kramatorsk from pro-Russian militants, while the state security service said an “anti-terrorist” operation was in progress against separatists in the nearby town of Slaviansk.