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Ukrainian forces, rebels, clash in latest Ukrainian flashpoint

Saturday, May 03, 2014 - 01:35

May 3 - Heavy firing was reported in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk, as rebels in the nearby separatists stronghold of Slavaiansk brace for incoming troops. Mana Rabiee reports.

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In the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk, near Slaviansk, the gutted remains of busses and cars used as barricades smolder. A testament to the latest clashes between government forces and pro-Russian separatists in the east. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) KRAMATORSK RESIDENT, ILYA, SAYING: "A checkpoint from Slaviansk was under fire, there were a lot of victims from both sides, from the civilians and from the fighters at the checkpoint. People who were simply going to work were injured." It's the second day of a government military operation to oust armed rebels from their strongholds. The government says there was heavy fighting in Kramatorsk. A security chief offers few details but says the military operation to take back the east is complex. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) DEPUTY CHIEF OF SBU AND CHIEF OF THE ANTI-TERRORIST CENTER, VASYL KRUTOV, SAYING: "What we are facing in the Donetsk region and in the eastern regions is not just some kind of short-lived uprising, it is in fact a war and the separatists' tactics are harsh." Near Slaviansk, the epicenter of the rebel movement, separatists man a checkpoint, hoping to stop nearby government troops from entering the town. They say five people died here the day before. A body lies nearby, uncollected, as residents line up for bread. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) TATYANA, SLAVIANSK RESIDENT, SAYING: "Yesterday there was no bread and there were shootouts so we were waiting for bread. But there WAS no bread." The violence in the eastern heartland spread to southern Ukraine on Friday. It raises concerns that the unrest is spreading to other parts of the country and bringing Ukraine closer to the brink of war.

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Ukrainian forces, rebels, clash in latest Ukrainian flashpoint

Saturday, May 03, 2014 - 01:35