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One Ukrainian Killed, Five Injured in Firefight
By Harold Hutchison

Violence has spread across the eastern part of Ukraine after shots were fired at Ukrainian troops by pro-Russians in the town of Slavyansk. The shootout left one Ukrainian security officer dead, and five others wounded. The Ukrainian government also announced it was taking new steps in response.

According to media reports, the Ukrainian government has halted gas payments to Russia, and has also begun mobilizing its military forces. Violence erupted in Kharkiv (also known as Kharkov), where five ambulances were sent to help those who had been injured, while pro-Russian “activists” have taken over government buildings.

One of those takeovers, in Kramatorsk, also involved exchanges of gunfire. The attackers were reportedly armed with AK-100-series rifles. The AK-100 series of rifles is made in Russia, and were developed and introduced into service after the fall of the Soviet Union.

The Ukrainian government has given the protesters until Monday to leave the government buildings, promising amnesty for those who have not fired shots. The Ukrainians are also planning a “large-scale counter-terrorist operation” in the wake of the clashes between separatists and Ukrainian loyalists.