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You're reading: Timothy Ash: Ukraine’s intensive day

Ukrainian forces appear to have tried yet another offensive to dislodge separatists in Slovyansk. Yet this saw two military helicopters downed, with two pro-Kyiv troops killed, and a separatist also killed. President Tuchynov indicated that the operation was stalled by the separatists using human shields.

Meanwhile, fights appear to have broken out in a pro-Kyiv rally in Odessa, resulting in at least one death. The latter suggests that unrest is spreading, and underlines that Kyiv is unable to provide security across the country.

Moscow has claimed that Ukraine stopped flights in/out of Kharkiv and Donetsk – the Ukrainian authorities have argued that this was just specific to flights from Moscow – presumably aimed at stopping “support” being brought in from Russia. Separately Ukrainian Railways indicated that separatists occupied its buildings today stalling rail traffic in Donetsk – risking a broader disruption to trade/economic activity.

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