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Weekend Violence Leaves Dozens Dead

Published: May 7, 2014 (Issue # 1809)



  • Police troops guard the burnt trade union building in Odessa, Ukraine, after clashes on May 2 left at least 42 dead.
    Photo:

DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine’s Interior Minister said Tuesday that 30 pro-Russian insurgents were killed during government operations to expunge anti-government forces in and near a town in the east.

Arsen Avakov said on his Facebook page Tuesday that four government troops also died and another 20 were injured during fighting in Slovyansk.

Gunbattles took place at various positions around the city in what has proven the most ambitious government effort to date to quell unrest in the mainly Russian-speaking east.

In Donetsk, a major city some 120 kilometers south of Slovyansk, flights from the local airport were suspended Tuesday.

A display board at the Donetsk airport showed international flights had been cancelled and only outbound flights to the capital, Kiev, were still in operation. The airport said on its website that the cancellations followed a government order. It was not immediately clear Tuesday morning how long the suspension was due to remain in effect.

Avakov said Monday that pro-Russia forces in Slovyansk, a city of 125,000, were deploying large-caliber weapons and mortars in the region and there were injured on both sides. Government troops were facing about 800 insurgents, he said.

The most recent fighting in Slovyansk comes after Ukraine sent an elite national guard unit to re-establish control over the southern port city of Odessa on Monday and troops fought pitched gunbattles with a pro-Russia militia that had seized Slovyansk.

The twin moves reflected an apparent escalation of efforts to bring both regions back under Kiev’s control. The possible loss of Odessa in the southwest and parts of eastern Ukraine could be catastrophic for the new government, leaving the country landlocked, cut off entirely from the Black Sea.

Ukraine already lost a significant part of its coastline in March, when its Black Sea peninsula of Crimea was annexed by Russia.

Gunfire and multiple explosions rang out Monday in and around Slovyansk, a city of 125,000 that has become the focus of the armed insurgency against the new interim government in Kiev.

Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said in a statement that government troops were battling about 800 pro-Russia forces, which were deploying large-caliber weapons and mortars. His agency reported four officers killed and 30 wounded in the fighting.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Jan. 29



Attend a master class on how to deal with complicated business negotiations today at the International Banking Institute, 6 Malaya Sadovaya Ulitsa. Running from 3 to 6 p.m., Vadim Sokolov, an assistant professor at the St. Petersburg State University of Economics, will introduce aspects of managing the negotiation process and increasing its effectiveness. Attendance is free with pre-registration by telephone on 909 3056 or online at www.ibispb.ru



Celebrate what would be writer Anton Chekhov's 155th birthday at the Bokvoed bookshop at 46 Nevsky Prospekt. Starting at 5 p.m., the legendary author will be feted with readings of his stories and short performances based on his plays by various St. Petersburg actors. Chekhov's books will also be offered at a 15% discount during the event.



Friday, Jan. 30



The Lermontov Central Library, 19 Liteyny Prospekt, will screen 'Almost Famous’ in English with Russian subtitles at 6:30 p.m. Cameron Crowe's Academy Award-winning comedy from 2000 stars Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson, and Patrick Fugit, and tells the story of a budding music journalist at Rolling Stone magazine in the 1970s. Admission is free.



Meet renowned Russian poet, journalist and writer Dmitry Bykov, famous for his biographies of Boris Pasternak, Bulat Okudzhava and Maxim Gorky, and winner of 2006 National Bestseller Award. Bykov will read old and new poems as well as answer questions about his works at the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Main Hall, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at 1,000 rubles and are available at city ticket offices and the from the Philharmonic website www.philharmonia.spb.ru.



A retrospective of the films of Roman Polanski starts today at Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt, with a screening of ‘Repulsion’ at 7 p.m. and ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ at 9:15 p.m. The series runs through Feb. 4 and will include Polanski's eminently creepy ‘The Tenant,’ the cult comedy ‘The Fearless Vampire Killers’ and ‘Cul-de-sac’ among others. Tickets are 150-200 rubles and the complete schedule is available at www.vk.com/artpokaz/



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