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Pro-Russia Rebels Flee Ukrainian Forces

Pro-Russia Rebels flee Ukrainian forces
July 06, 2014

According to Marine Corps TimesUkraine forced retreat of pro-Russia rebels from the key city of Slovyansk.

Ukrainians loyal to the Kiev government have been fighting for control against a Russia-backed separatist movement since April.

President Petro Poroshenko said, while it was not a total victory, purging Slavyansk of the armed insurgents had “incredible symbolic importance.”

Pro-Russia Rebels Flee Ukrainian Forces

SLOVYANSK, UKRAINE — Ukrainian troops forced pro-Russian insurgents out of a key stronghold in the country’s embattled east on Saturday, a significant success that suggested the government may finally be making gains in a months-long battle against a spreading separatist insurgency.

As rebels fled from Slovyansk, vowing to regroup elsewhere and fight on, President Petro Poroshenko hailed the recapture of the city as “the start of a turning point” in a battle that has claimed more than 400 lives since April.


Pro-Russia rebels flee Ukrainian forces

Short Bus: Armed pro-Russian rebels flee Ukrainian forces aboard a short bus as they leave their positions in Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine on Saturday. | REUTERS

A rebel commander who would only give his nom de guerre as Pinochet told the AP that rebels had relocated to the nearby town of Kramatorsk, 20 kilometers (12 miles) south of Slovyansk. But outside Kramatorsk, an AP reporter saw an abandoned checkpoint and several hundred rebels, armed and in uniform, driving in minibuses in the direction of Donetsk.

Weapons Seized

In forcing the rebels out of Slovyansk, Ukrainians seized stockpiles of weapons from the fleeing Russian allies.

Pro-Russia Rebels Flee Ukrainian Forces

Ukrainian loyalists seized weapons caches as pro-Russia Rebels flee Ukrainian forces. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

Ukrainian government army soldiers examined the weapons captured from rebels in Slovyansk.

By late afternoon on Saturday, Ukrainian troops occupied the former rebel headquarters in Slovyansk, a city of about 100,000 that has been a focus of the civil war between Kiev’s troops and the pro-Russian insurgents.

Rebels have vowed to make their stand in Donetsk, while citizens worry their town will be destroyed in the fighting.



Pro-Russia Rebels Flee Ukrainian Forces