Ukrainian forces’ “special operation” to take back Kramatorsk’s airfield from separatist militia has been declared by Kyiv as having been a successful mission carried out with no bloodshed.
The troops however were met with shouting and jeering by local civilians – the majority of whom were Russian-speaking and appeared hostile to the government in Kyiv.
One local said: “I think this is an aggression by the American state department against Ukraine, led by Turchynov, Yatsenyuk, Avakov and the rest.”
While a woman complained at the level of aggression:
“Just when we arrived and started to approach the gate there were snipers sitting at every tree over here.”
Ukraine’s state security service said it had been an “anti-terrorist” operation but with chants of “you will answer for raising guns against your people”, extending the mission to reassert control in the region is fraught with risk.
Our reporter in Kramatorsk, Sergio Cantone said:
“Was it a security operation or a realistic rehearsal for civil war? The main fact is that the local population doesn’t seem to welcome the special forces sent here by Kyiv.”