23 May 2014 — ITAR-TASS
The city of Sloviansk (Ukraine’s Donetsk region) and adjoining settlements have again been subjected to intense artillery fire in which several [d]welling houses have been destroyed. The local people’s militia claim that an attack on a block post in the area of the Karlovka settlement (30 km from Donetsk towards Dnepropetrovsk) was repelled on Friday. According to the self-defence forces, “more than 10 gunmen were killed” in the clash that continued for about three hours.
Kiev authorities have explained the force operation by the need to establish order for the presidential election that is scheduled for May 25. In response to the intensification of combat actions, the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) has launched mobilisation. The DPR press service told ITAR-TASS that recruiting stations were opened on Friday where men aged from 19 to 40 years must turn up. On Thursday, martial law was declared in the neighbouring self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) and total mobilisation of men aged from 18 to 45 years was announced.
Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, General Valery Gerasimov stated at the third International Security Conference in Moscow on Friday that the conflict in Ukraine had actually grown into a civil war. He said that the Russian Defense Ministry had at its disposal the facts of participation of private military companies in the events in Ukraine.
Appointed by the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada (parliament) Prime Minister of the country Arseniy Yatsenyuk believes that nothing will prevent Ukraine from holding the presidential election on May 25. Head of the special operation in the east of the country Valentin Nalivaichenko for his part promised that the Ukrainian security agencies would not conduct active operations on the voting day. Kiev authorities at the same time admit that it will be impossible to open part of polling stations in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Ukrainian Central Election Commission’s (CEC) press secretary Konstantin Khivrenko said on Friday that of 34 district election commissions that have been created in these regions 20 remain blocked by armed people.
In the opinion of the Russian military and foreign political leadership, “a colour revolution” is being implemented in Ukraine by the West.
“After the forceful removal from power of Ukraine’s incumbent president with active participation of external forces the country actually slid into a civil war,” Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in Moscow on Friday. “We remember the attempts to implement the concept of “colour revolutions” in the former USSR space. In the recent past such attempts were made in Central Asian countries and in Georgia. Now it’s Ukraine. The appearance of a new trouble spot has negatively affected the general security,” he stressed.
“The West has preferred the customary policy for the containment of Russia to the historic chance of building the Greater Europe,” believes Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. “The attempts to force on other peoples its own formulas of internal reform, which do not take into account their traditions and national features, to engage in the ‘export of democracy,’ have a destructive effect on international relations and result in the multiplication of the hot spots on the world map,” the minister stressed.