Helicopters, Armored Vehicles Used Against Protesters in Slaviansk

KIEV, May 7 (RIA Novosti) – Security forces of the Kiev regime are employing armored vehicles and helicopter gunships to crack down on pro-federalization protesters in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slaviansk, the Ukrainian Interior Ministry said Wednesday.

“An anti-terrorism operation is under way in Slaviansk. Ukrainian law enforcement forces use military vehicles and helicopters as part of it,” the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry posted a video on its official website, showing troops driving Soviet-era BTR-80 armored personnel carriers and Mil Mi-24 helicopter gunships.

Acting Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov ordered the launch of a special operation last month to crack down on pro-federalization protests that have been spreading across southeastern Ukraine since a regime change in Kiev in February.

Ukrainian troops encircled Slaviansk over the weekend in a bid to wrest control from pro-referendum demonstrators and self-defense forces. At least a dozen protesters and civilians have been killed in hostilities in the city so far.

On Tuesday, local self-defense forces said the Ukrainian army has placed Grad multiple-launch rocket systems near the city in preparation for an imminent attack on pockets of resistance.

The use of the area-effect rockets would almost certainly cause massive civilian casualties as the systems are capable of firing 40 rockets almost simultaneously. One battalion of eighteen launchers is able to deliver up to 720 rockets in a single volley.

Igor Korotchenko, a leading Russian military expert, earlier told RIA Novosti that Ukraine’s Soviet-era military equipment was obsolete and its use may cause unnecessary deaths among civilians. It is impossible to strike targets with precision using equipment produced 25-30 years ago, he said.

thanks to Ria Novosti

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