Ukrainian special forces have completed their encirclement of the city of Slovyansk.
But not before pro-Russian forces managed to kidnap a bus with seven military observers from OSCE member states operating under the Vienna Convention. The group was made up of four Germans, a Czech, Swede, and a Dane, and were accompanied by five Ukrainian officers. None of the men were armed. The separatists took them into the city, where the rebel leader accused one of being a Kyiv spy.
In the city schools and kindergardens are no longer functioning, and cash is in short supply.
A Ukrainian army helicopter was hit with rocket and sniper fire at the nearby military airstrip on the outskirts of Kramatorsk, and destroyed.
At one point the Russian military exercises that began on Thursday using forces deployed from Volgograd came within one kilometre of the Ukrainian border.
Interfax news agency reported Russia’s commander in chief General Valeri Guerassimov, speaking by phone with his American opposite number General Martin Dempsey, said “large numbers of Ukrainian troops were massed on the border intent on acts of sabotage.”
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