Separatists kill seven Ukrainian soldiers: defense minister
Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - 01:45
May 13 - Seven Ukrainian soldiers were killed in a pro-Russian ambush, as ''Round Table'' talks are set to begin as part of Ukraine's efforts to resolve the conflict in the east ahead of the May 25 presidential elections. Jillian Kitchener reports.
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The eastern Ukrainian city of Krasnoarmeisk was quiet on Tuesday -- a stark contrast to the past weekend's separatist referendum on self-rule.
A somber ceremony was held for a man shot on Sunday, in violence that mourners blame on Ukrainian authorities.
Ukraine's acting defense minister reported more lives lost Tuesday.
Seven Ukrainian soldiers were killed and seven wounded when their armored column was ambushed by pro-Russian separatists in the east.
(SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) METRESHKIVSKY OLEKSIY, SPOKESMAN FOR UKRAINIAN GENERAL STAFF, SAYING:
"The first shot came from an RPG which hit the engine of the APC and the battle started. The fight went on for one hour. As a result 6 paratroopers were killed and 9 were wounded. Two of the nine had concussions."
The seventh died on the way to the hospital.
It's the heaviest loss of life for government forces in a single clash, since fighting started in the east.
In an attempt to defuse the crisis, much needed "round table" talks are set to begin between politicians and civil groups.
With a warm reception, the German Foreign Minister arrived in Odessa for just that.
(SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER, FRANK-WALTER STEINMEIER, SAYING:
"People have not forgotten the the horror of events eleven days ago but I believe that they feel you are helping and are trying to help to solve the conflict by beginning to talk to the different parties and by bringing them closer together. I think that's good, not to make the past forgotten but to allow for a normal everyday life in the city and to ensure economic activity in this city in the future."
This comes as the United States releases satellite images, allegedly of Russian forces still near the Ukrainian border.
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