Pro-Russian Forces Kill Six Ukraine Paratroopers Near Kramatorsk
Pro-Russian forces attacked the Ukrainian army at a checkpoint in Oktyabrske, which is outside of Kramatorsk. The attack left six dead and eight wounded.
According to the Defense Ministry, the forces attacked with grenade launchers and automatic weapons at 1:00PM local time.
"More than 30 attackers arrived early and were located along the river in the bushes. The first shot from a grenade launcher by terrorists hit the engine of an (armored vehicle) which approached a bridge. There was an explosion. Another (armored vehicle) tried to push the damaged fighting machine that caught fire away from the village," reads the Defense Ministry statement.
"After the first salvo, terrorists with heavy weapons killed two soldiers, wounding another three. Overall, as a result of prolonged clashes, six members of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were killed. Eight (suffered wounds) with varying degrees of severity," the Ministry said.
Ukrainian military expert Dmitry Tymchuk said the paratroopers belonged to the 95th airborne brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and were transporting ammunition.
"According to preliminary information, terrorists with grenades destroyed a truck carrying ammunition, and then got into a fight," Tymchuk wrote.
Amid the attack, "a bus came to the aid of the 30-40 militants," he said. "By helicopters came paratrooper reinforcements."
This group was part of interim President Oleksandr Turchynov’s anti-terrorist operation to fight the pro-Russian forces in east Ukraine.
This violence comes a day after the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic” declared victory in their referendum to form a self-reliant state. However, just hours after the declaration, the DPR asked Moscow to join the Russian Federation. Ukraine is set to hold presidential elections on May 25.