19 June, 12:41

Ukraine's army using Su-25 fighter bombers as heavy fighting in Artemovsk underway - Donetsk militia

Archive photo

Archive photo

Archive photo

An intense military operation is underway in the town of Artemovsk in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk region, a local militia headquarters spokesman told Interfax on Thursday. "The village of Zakatnoye, the town of Seversk and the outskirts of Artemovsk have come under fire. Militiamen are firing in response. Fierce fighting is underway using heavy military hardware on the part of Ukrainian government forces," the spokesman said.

According to the local militia, "a Su-25 fighter bomber that conducted an airstrike against the town of Seversk has been hit by the militia's fire, but it is still in the air.

Ukraine gov't forces open fire on Slavyansk church, one person killed

The Resurrection Church in the city of Slavyansk, eastern Ukraine, came under fire on Thursday. A man guarding the church was killed in the attack. As a result of the incident, five windows were smashed in the building, part of its facade was damaged and the fence surrounding the church was destroyed.

"An artillery strike against the city was launched from Mount Karachun at 6:00 am sharp today. The gunfire continued for half an hour. This time, its target was the Resurrection Church. The projectiles landed just outside of it, with one of them passing half a meter from the dome, another one exploding near the church compound, on the road, and the third one destroying the central gas mains near the lake," Priest Nikolai Fomenko was quoted as saying by the press service of the Slavyansk diocese.

"The southern facade of the church was destroyed, but the building itself survived the attack," he said.

"The most terrible thing that happened is that the man guarding the church was killed. He was on his way to open the gates when he was injured in the head. He was rushed to the hospital, but doctors were unable to save his life. Let's pray for the recently deceased Alexander," the priest said.

The Resurrection Church of Slavyansk was built in the 18th century. St. John of Kronstadt once lived and conducted religious services there. The Church of St. Seraphim of Sarov, located in the village of Cherepkovka near Slavyansk, came under fire early on Monday morning, when several projectiles hit the yard of the church, completely destroying its chapel and refectory.

In late May, a mine exploded just ten meters from the Church of the Reigning Icon of the Mother of God in Slavyansk.

Ukrainian side demands ransom for militias during exchange of dead - leader of LPR

During the exchange of dead and wounded between Ukrainian armed forces and militias of self-proclaimed Lugansk People's Republic there were instances when armed forces held bodies to ransom. This was announced today at a press conference by the leader of LPR Valeriy Bolotov. "They demanded five thousand dollars for each victim," he said, answering a question about the amount of foreclosures.

Bolotov noted that the Ukrainian side "has breached a temporary cease-fire agreement" reached by militias and armed forces to exchange the bodies of dead.

"They engaged fire on our roadblocks. Mortar and artillery fire was opened," he said, adding that "it happened in the Donetsk region and on our southern borders." "We have fully complied with the conditions of the agreement, allowing picking up their dead," said Bolotov.

He also noted that Kiev has not announced any ceasefire. "There was a request on their part to suspend firing to take the wounded and the dead," said the head of the LPR. Lugansk militia took the bodies of nine dead and twelve wounded soldiers, and the Ukrainian side, according Bolotov, took more than 100 killed near the village of Metalist, "not counting those in the airport."

According Bolotov another point agreement that violated the Ukrainian side was suspension of armored columns. "Military forces continued to pull in the direction of Schastye MLRS "Grad ", armored vehicles and heavy artillery," he said.

Read more:

Kiev forces bomb village after declaring truce - Lugansk People's Republic

Ten civilian deaths in Ukraine's Kramatorsk shelling – Donetsk People’s Republic

Gunfire at residential sector in Kramatorsk: 20 people wounded

Ukraine's Kramatorsk shelling leaves 10 dead, 10 injured

More than 50 self-defense fighters killed during airstrike in Kramatorsk

Donetsk militia claims to have destroyed Ukraine army roadblock between Slovyansk, Kramatorsk

Lugansk self-defense reports exchange of fire near Severodonetsk

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