In a message posted to Facebook, Arsen Avakov squashed reports that the mission had been suspended, saying it was still on. “ATO (anti-terrorist operation) continues. Terrorists should beware around the clock. Civilians have nothing to fear,” he said.
Serhiy Pashinskiy, the Ukrainian president’s chief of staff, reiterated his remarks, saying that the operation will continue and that the goal is to encircle the city of Sloviansk.
“Twenty minutes ago, Ukrainian special units began the second stage (of the anti-terrorist operation), which consists in that we have made a decision to fully blockade the city of Sloviansk to prevent help from reaching it,” he said.