The Ukrainian army is slowly retaking important cities away from pro-Russian forces in east Ukraine. The anti-terrorist operation in Mariupol reclaimed the port city and 40 pro-Russians were killed in Stepanivka.
“At 10:34 a.m. the Ukrainian flag was raised over City Hall in Mariupol,” Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said.
The Ukrainian army did not lose any soldiers in the battle. From The Kyiv Post:
Though Avakov wrote that two Ukrainian troops had been injured and none killed, a statement on the National Guard’s official website said that four troops were wounded, and one remains in critical condition.
The interior minister noted that separatist casualties were “high.”
He said that National Guard troops captured 11 rebels, destroyed one separatist armored reconnaissance vehicle and took out several sniper perches on their way to securing “all key strongholds” in the city.
Mariupol is a port city in the Donetsk Oblast. It is important for strategic reasons to Ukraine and Russia. It lies right on the Black Sea and the proximity to Russia would allow Moscow to easily move in people and supplies by road as well.
The Ukrainian Defense Ministry said 40 pro-Russians were killed in Stepanivka on Thursday. The Ukrainian army also destroyed twelve vehicles and said the rebels attempted to transport numerous firearms.
“Ukrainian servicemen destroyed two armored personnel carriers, two tanks and two KAMAZ trucks on which 12.7 mm KORD machine guns were mounted,” said the ministry.
— Mark Bagne (@codycoyote37) June 13, 2014
— Ukrinform (@UKRINFORM) June 13, 2014
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) June 13, 2014
Mariupol today. Ukrainian flag on a background of the destroyed APCs pic.twitter.com/nXJOT39eZk
— VoiceOfDonetsk (@VoiceOfDonetsk) June 13, 2014
— Euromaidan PR (@EuromaidanPR) June 13, 2014
— Maxim Eristavi (@MaximEristavi) June 13, 2014
— Christopher Miller (@ChristopherJM) June 13, 2014