May 05, 2014
By Andy Johnson
Reports from the Slovyansk area of Ukraine indicate at least 4 Ukrainian officers have been killed and at least 30 wounded in renewed gun battles with pro-Russian militants. A government statement said Ukrainian troops had started an “anti-terrorist operation” this morning against the pro-Russia forces, which numbered around 800. Slovyansk has been the heart of an uprising in east Ukraine against the central government in Kyiv, which came to power after the country’s Russia-leaning president fled following months of street protests. In a separate development, the Ukraine government sent an elite national guard unit to re-establish control in the southern port city of Odessa. The American ambassador says he believes Ukraine is on the brink. Geoffrey Pyatt says the entire country is trying to figure out how the situation deteriorated to the point it’s at and how to ensure that those trying to divide the country are unsuccessful. The U-S is urging Russia to withdraw from Ukraine, but Vladimir Putin has thousands of Russian troops massed on the border. Closer to home, the Harper Government has imposed further sanctions on 16 more Russian “entities“ and says Moscow`s illegal occupation of Ukraine and provocative military activity remains a serious concern.