Ukrainian Soldiers Killed in Donetsk
By William Tucker
Chief Correspondent for In Homeland Security
Seven Ukrainian paratroopers were killed in Kramatorsk – a city in Donetsk Oblast – in what is so far the largest loss of military personnel for Kiev in the recent chaos.
Reports from Kramatorsk indicate that the soldiers armored personnel carrier was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) as it was ambushed by pro-Russian separatists. A firefight ensued, killing one of the separatists according to government statements. The use of an RPG by what is supposed to be a group of local concerned citizens is not a good sign and may well lead to an escalation between the government and the separatists.
Tensions are already running high as both Donetsk and Luhansk have voted to separate from Ukraine. Both oblasts have asked to be absorbed into the Russian Federation, however there hasn’t yet been an official response to the request from Moscow. Russia did, at least initially, request that the vote to separate be postponed; however the separatists went ahead with the poll anyways. Russia is likely biding its time and is willing to wait for Kiev to continue, and perhaps increase, its military operations in the east to retake the areas seized by the separatists.
By keeping its military prepositioned near the border with Ukraine, Russia is ready to move into these regions quite quickly.
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