Operation launched in east Ukrainian town
The Ukrainian government Friday launched a full-scale operation in the eastern town of Sloviansk, using aircraft and landing troops against the pro-Russian activists.
Ukrainian Air Force combat helicopters have entered the Sloviansk airfield, the town has been blocked and peppered with heavy gunfire and explosions, BBC reported.
The operation launched by Ukraine's acting President Alexander Turchynov came as pro-Russian activists Thursday seized the regional prosecutor's office in the eastern city of Donetsk.
They forced their way into the building, stripped weapons and shields from police officers and raised the flag of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel Thursday called upon Russian President Vladimir Putin to exert his influence to help achieve the release of detained military observers in Ukraine.
Eight members of an inspection team from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) were captured by pro-Russian protestors in eastern Ukraine.
The group includes seven military officers, three from Germany and one each from the Czech Republic, Denmark, Poland and Sweden, and a German interpreter, along with five Ukrainian military escorts.
The Swedish inspector was released Sunday, as he reportedly suffered from diabetes. Other team members are still being held captive.
Ukraine blames Russia for organising the seizures of a number of offices in towns in the east.
Russia denies all accusations made by Ukraine.
(Posted on 02-05-2014)