Ukrainian special forces passing suburb of Slovyansk #Ukraine
1. Updated: April 13, 10.45 a.m. GMT: A member of the Ukrainian security forces has been killed and five others have been wounded in clashes in Slaviansk, according to Ukraine’s interior minister Arsen Avakov.
Avakov said there had been an “unidentifiable number” of pro-Russian casualties.
The BBC reports that the separatists opened fire on special forces as they were approaching a roadblock.
Avakov also accused pro-Russian gunmen of using civilians as cover. He said the Ukrainian forces are regrouping and will continue their operation.
Pro-Russian forces have now also taken control of the town council building in Mariupol, according to a Ukrainian news website.
2. The violence began after Ukrainian authorities launched an “anti-terrorist” campaign against pro-Russian gunmen in eastern Crimea this morning.
Earlier, Avakov wrote on his Facebook page that men who had seized a police station in the small town of Slavyansk had opened fire on the approaching troops. However, a Reuters journalist at the scene said there was no evidence of that.
3. This video shows pro-Russian civilians forming a human shield around the building in Slavyansk.
4. City buildings in Donetsk and Luhansk were stormed last weekend by pro-Russians.
Pro-Russian activists warm themselves outside the secret service building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk on April 12, 2014.
5. Civilians in the area have been urged to stay indoors as clashes threaten to break out.
9. Vladimir Putin has denied stoking tensions, saying he has no plans to invade.
While the United States has pledged its “strong support” for Ukraine’s new government and urged Russia to calm the situation down.