“During an anti-terrorist operation by a department of the Interior Ministry and the Defense Ministry, three roadblocks were destroyed that were set up by armed gangs in the northeastern part of the city of Slaviansk in the Donetsk region. During the armed conflict, at least five terrorists were killed. One policeman was injured,” the ministry said in a statement.
Police in the region earlier reported that members of Slaviansk’s self-defense group had constructed eight roadblocks.
A spokesman for self-defense forces in eastern Ukraine confirmed the report, saying five people were killed after the security operation in Slaviansk.
Self-defense forces said earlier two activists were killed and three injured in a fighting with the Ukrainian army in Slaviansk.
A senior commander of self-defense forces in eastern Ukraine, Sergei Tsyplakov, said military vehicles without any insignia had blocked all the routes to the city.
The Security Service of Ukraine announced Wednesday that the military operation launched by Ukrainian authorities earlier this month against protesters in eastern Ukraine had again entered an active phase, following a temporary suspension after an agreement reached in Geneva last week.
Ukrainian authorities launched a special operation to crack down on pro-federalization activists in eastern regions of the country that have been swept by rallies since last month.
Protesters in Kharkiv, Donetsk, Gorlovka, Slaviansk and Kramatorsk refuse to recognize the legitimacy of the current Ukrainian government and are urging interim authorities to hold referendums similar to the one held in Crimea last month, which led to the republic’s reunification with Russia.
Updates with confirmation of death toll