Violent clashes erupt in Ukraine’s Mariupol

Violent clashes erupt in Ukraine’s Mariupol

Wed May 7, 2014 3:17PM GMT

Clashes have broken out between Kiev’s troops and pro-Russia protesters in the southern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, amid an ongoing crisis that has rocked the country for over a month.

Pro-Russia protesters retook on Wednesday the city hall in Donetsk’s Mariupol, just hours after Kiev’s troops drove them out by reportedly setting off smoke grenades in the building.

The Ukrainian forces also destroyed the city hall’s furniture and office equipment during the violence.

According to witnesses, shots were fired and Ukrainian forces prevented medics from treating the injured.

There were no immediate reports on the number of casualties from the violence.

This is while clashes have been reported between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russia protesters in the flashpoint city of Slavyansk.

A representative of the pro-Russia forces told the Russian Interfax news agency that the fighting was concentrated around a television tower in the southern suburb of Andreyevka.

Ukraine’s Security Service reported earlier in the day that 14 troops have died and 66 others injured since the beginning of military operations in mid-April against pro-Russia activists in the eastern part of the country.

The acting Kiev government launched the controversial “anti-terrorist operation” on April 15 after pro-Russia activists occupied government buildings in over a dozen eastern and southern cities.

Pro-Russia protests gained momentum in the eastern and southern parts of Ukraine after Crimea declared independence from the former Soviet state and formally became part of the Russian Federation following a referendum in March.

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