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14 Ukrainian soldiers killed in one ambush by separatists

May 22, 2014

Summary: A blow against peace prospects – 14 Ukrainian soldiers die in an ambush

Attack aftermath near Volnovakha, Ukraine, 22 MayVarious media outlets have been reporting this story – 14 Ukrainian soldiers killed in a surprise attack on their checkpoint at dawn today.

BBC News: A dawn attack on a checkpoint in eastern Ukraine has left at least 14 soldiers dead, in the worst loss of life for government forces to date.  Heavily armed militants attacked the checkpoint in the Volnovakha area, in one of four attacks reported overnight in eastern Ukraine.  It is unclear who attacked the checkpoint, with one Ukrainian officer telling the BBC it was not separatists.  The attacks come just three days before Ukraine’s presidential election.  Ukraine’s interim Prime Minister, Arseny Yatseniuk, has called for an emergency session of the UN Security Council, saying he has evidence of Russian involvement in the violence.

This looks to be a very significant step up in the violence levels.  Reliable information looks hard to come by.   Channel Four apppear to have interviewed the leader of the attackers group.  A lot of military hardware appears also to have been destroyed and one is tempted to question the alertness and overall readiness of the Ukrainians at the checkpoint for this to happen.  My sense is that the Ukrainian military will respond instinctively with force, but it will be clumsy force, probably involving air attacks and artillery, inflaming the situation as collateral damage grows.

Not good.

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