The “anti-terrorist” campaign, ordered by interim President Oleksander Turchynov is finally underway. He told the Ukrainian parliament on Tuesday that operations began in the eastern Donestk region. According to Turchynov, the Russian Federation wants Ukraine to be on fire. Voice of America quoted Turchynov, who spoke to the parliament early on Tuesday. “Plans of the Russian Federation were and remain brutal. They want not only Donbas [the Donetsk region] to be on fire. They want the whole south and east of Ukraine to be on fire – from Kharkiv region to Odessa region,” Turchynov said at the parliament session in Kyiv.
The operations would be executed in phases. “But it will be carried out stage by stage, responsibly and cautiously. The aim of these actions – I underline it one more time – is to protect the citizens of Ukraine, to stop terror, and to stop criminality, stop attempts to tear Ukraine to pieces,” he added. President Turchynov confirmed the offense was finally underway. The plan was announced and launched on Sunday but no Ukrainian soldiers nor SBU officers were seen conducting operations.
A Reuters correspondent in Sloviasnk reported that there was no shot fired or explosions so far on Tuesday. Around twelve Cossacks were seen proudly standing guard at the mayor’s office and approximately the same amount of civilians were seen establishing more defensive positions using tires and wooden crates outside the occupied local police headquarters. Western leaders have arraigned Moscow of being the instigator of the recent pro-Russian uprising in eastern Ukraine, which was quickly dismissed by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Moscow has also denied the allegation of Russian Special Service agents’ were engaged in the protests stating it was “speculations based on unreliable information.”