Slavyansk blockade: Shelling non-stop, shops closed, no meds, no chance to evacuate
The Ukrainian National Guard continues to shell Slavyansk, completely surrounded by armored vehicles and military checkpoints, locals report. Residents are hiding in cellars without electricity and water and no chance to evacuate from the besieged city.
At least five people were killed during the assault on Friday, local eyewitness Vitaly told RT, adding that it was impossible to assess how many people could have been injured in the deserted city where “whole streets” were “obliterated.”
The people are hiding in cellars, Vitaly says, as destruction is widespread and it is hard to predict where the next strike may come from with planes engaged in the ongoing “anti-terrorist” operation, as Kiev calls it.
“They have destroyed at least 4 houses, schools, daycare have all been destroyed, the pharmacies have all been destroyed. We have no work. We have no water or electricity. We have no money,” eyewitness told RT. “We have no clue how to survive further. Most likely we'll start eating grass from the garden.”
05.06.2014 - Украина. Славянск. Очередь за водой. pic.twitter.com/5ivI3K1wuY
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The city has been completely surrounded, Vitaly confirmed. A real war is raging in Slavyansk and the military tactics used by Kiev is more than “disturbing,” he added.
“The children are afraid,” he said. “Two streets in Slavyansk have been completely obliterated.”
“A genocide is underway, they have no clue what they are bombing,” press secretary of the People’s Mayor of Slavyansk, Stella Khorosheva said. “During the shelling of the city, according to preliminary data, Ukrainian security forces used multiple Grad rocket launchers,” she added.
Meanwhile, the self-defense militia sources in Slavyansk told Ria Novosti, that apparently “in retaliation for the downed aircraft” the Ukrainian army shelled the SBU building – one of the headquarters of the militias. Neighboring civilian houses were also destroyed, the source said.
With nightfall, a source in the militia told Itar-Tass said, the Ukrainian army are deploying “flash rockets.” There are many wounded he says, “at least 10 people.”
Earlier on Friday, Vladislav Seleznev, the speaker for the Kiev’s military operation in the east, said the armed forces are deploying more tanks to strengthen their checkpoints near Slavyansk and roadblocks around Kramatorsk.
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“Checkpoints, which are often subjected to shelling and attacks by terrorists attempting to escape from the tight encirclement, are being reinforced with armored vehicles. One of the tanks, for example, is near the crossroads leading to Krasny Liman. The task of the vehicles is to increase security and prevent terrorists from breaking the encirclement,” Seleznev was quoted by Unian.
Meanwhile the village of Cherevkovka is also being shelled by artillery – in particular the “Akacia” howitzer and Tyulpan self-propelled mortars. “It seems that without the reconnaissance plane, the artillery has no clue where to fire. They fire everywhere. They have enormous expenditure of ammunition,” the source told Ria Novosti.
The Ukrainian army is also attacking self-defense force positions using artillery around Kramatorsk airport, the source added. Social media sources seem to confirm the claim of the ongoing fighting.
Some 170 km from Slavyansk at the checkpoint of Marinovka in the Donetsk region, the Ukrainian border guard service has confirmed that it deployed planes to battle militias, Unian reports. Local media claims at least 4 people have been injured in the fighting at Marinovka.
On Tuesday, the National Guard intensified what Kiev calls an ‘anti-terrorits’ operation with a massive artillery attack on Slavyansk, a city with a population of over 110,000 people. The plan is to conduct a “sweep” of Donetsk and Lugansk regions ahead of Saturday's presidential inauguration.