Wednesday, November 26, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Ukraine claims victory in rebel stronghold

By
From page A13 | July 06, 2014 |

SLOVYANSK, Ukraine — Ukrainian troops forced pro-Russian insurgents out of a key stronghold in the country’s embattled east on Saturday, a significant success that suggested the government may finally be making gains in a months-long battle against a spreading separatist insurgency.

As rebels fled from Slovyansk, vowing to regroup elsewhere and fight on, President Petro Poroshenko hailed the recapture of the city as “the start of a turning point” in a battle that has claimed more than 400 lives since April.

After a night of heavy fighting that saw heavy artillery fire from Ukraine’s troops, government soldiers were in full control of rebel headquarters in Slovyansk, a city of about 100,000 that has been a center of the fighting between Kiev’s troops and the pro-Russian insurgents.

Soldiers raised the Ukrainian flag over the city council building, while troops carried stockpiles of weapons out of the city’s administrative and police buildings, which have been under rebel control since early April.

“It’s not a total victory. But the purging of Slovyansk of these bands, made up of people armed to the teeth, has incredible symbolic importance,” Poroshenko said in a statement posted on his official website.

Artillery fire on rebel forces began late on Friday and lasted into the night. On Saturday, fighting could still be heard on the northern outskirts of the city.

Ukraine’s newly appointed Minister of Defense, Valery Heletey, was milling around with troops in the city center. He said that three planes with food and other supplies will soon arrive in Slovyansk.

A spokesman for the National Security and Defense Council said earlier that mopping-up operations were continuing.

“Slovyansk is under siege. Now an operation is going on to neutralize small groups hiding in buildings where peaceful citizens are living,” Andriy Lysenko told journalists in Kiev.

Andrei Purgin of the separatist Donetsk People’s Republic told The Associated Press that rebels were evacuating, but claimed the army’s campaign had left the city “in ruins.”

The capture of Slovyansk represented the government’s biggest victory since it abandoned a shaky cease-fire this week and launched an offensive against the separatists. Until now, the Ukrainian army had often appeared feckless in the months-long campaign against the rebels. On Thursday Poroshenko shook up his defense team, appointing Ukraine’s third defense minister since the former president was ousted in February.

It was not yet clear whether the latest advance has permanently crippled the rebels, many of whom are relocating to other cities.

In the city of Donetsk, streets were deserted on Saturday as local officials urged people to stay at home. They said a battle was ongoing near the Donetsk city airport, but did not provide details.

“Militants from Slovyansk and Kramatorsk have arrived in Donetsk,” said Maxim Rovinsky, spokesman for the city council.

Purgin claimed 150 fighters injured in Slovyansk were in Donetsk for treatment.

“More than a hundred militiamen have been killed in the last three days,” said Viktor, a 35-year-old Slovyansk native who had a shrapnel wound in his leg. “The mood is very bad. It seems that we’ve lost this war. And Russia isn’t in a hurry to help.”

Alexei, a driver and local Slovyansk resident who would not give his last name for fear of reprisal, told the AP by phone that he heard bombing throughout the night. When the bombing stopped in the early morning, he left his house and saw that all the rebel checkpoints were abandoned. He said there was some damage to buildings in the center of the city, but said much of the rest of the city had been left untouched.

A rebel commander who would only give his nom de guerre as Pinochet told the AP that rebels had relocated to the nearby town of Kramatorsk, 20 kilometers (12 miles) south of Slovyansk. But outside Kramatorsk, an AP reporter saw an abandoned checkpoint and several hundred rebels, armed and in uniform, driving in minibuses in the direction of Donetsk.

Some rebels played down the significance of Ukraine’s advances. Pavel Gubarev, the self-described governor of the Donetsk People’s Republic, wrote online that the rebels had staged a tactical retreat.

“Kutuzov also retreated, as that was the plan,” he wrote, referring to the 19th century general Mikhail Kutuzov who is credited with defeating Napoleon’s forces in Russia. “In general, Russians only retreat before a decisively victorious battle.”

Others in the rebels’ ranks pleaded publicly with Russia to assist the rebels in their cause. In a video posted online late on Friday, Igor Girkin, the self-described “commander in chief of the Donetsk People’s Republic,” said his men had “lost the will to fight.”

“They want to live in Russia,” said Girkin, also known by his nom de guerre, Igor Strelkov. “But when they tried to assert this right, Russia doesn’t want to help.” He said he believed the troops had only “two or three weeks” before they were defeated if Russia did not step in.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said it was bolstering efforts to deliver medical aid to those in eastern Ukraine, but made no mention of the rebels’ defeat in Slovyansk or plans to provide military aid.

Rebel leaders have pleaded with the Kremlin for military assistance in the past, and some prominent Russian nationalists have publicly taunted Putin, accusing him of cowardice. Such criticism could resonate with the broader Russian public, which has been heavily influenced by Russian state television’s characterization of the Kiev government as a “fascist junta” that is killing Russian-speakers.

Poroshenko said Friday he was ready to conduct another round of talks between representatives from Ukraine, Russia and the rebels. But with the rebels reeling from their attack Saturday, it was unclear whether negotiations could take place.

“That possibility still exists,” said Purgin. “We don’t exclude that the talks could happen in Minsk, because the situation in Donetsk has escalated. Different options are now under discussion.”

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

    Groups distribute Thanksgiving food

    By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
     
    County fair proposal, budget topics of scrutiny

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Police: Vehicle burglaries not new for Fairfield

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

     
    Supervisors hear suggestions for vacant county property

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

     
    Fairfield police offer free gun locks

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4

     
    Fairfield police investigate shooting

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

     
    Library schedules soap-making program

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A4

    Vacaville PD seeks VIPS program volunteers

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A4

     
    Soroptimists seek award applicants

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A5

     
    Science comes to libraries – for all to see

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A5

     
    Church’s holiday soiree on Vacaville calendar

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A7

     
    Nichols plans free family concert in Napa

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A7

    Fairfield police log: Nov. 22, 2014

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

     
    Suisun City police log: Nov. 23, 2014

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

    Suisun City police log: Nov. 22, 2014

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

     
    Suisun City police log: Nov. 24, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

    Fairfield police log: Nov. 23, 2014

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

     
    Weather for Nov. 26, 2014

    By Daily Republic | From Page: B12

    .

    US / World

    Grand jury focused on key fatal Ferguson ‘tussle’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    Anger at Ferguson case based on emotion, evidence

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

    Tough to make a case against police in shootings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    Protesters return to riot-scarred Ferguson streets

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

    Heirloom ring flushed; sewer workers retrieve it

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Ohio family recovers missing Sasquatch statue

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Auction fetches $28K for 1st batch of new bourbon

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    In Seattle, tofu turkeys get Thanksgiving pardons

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Los Angeles freeway sign unveiled with typo

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Agreement: LA jails to improve wheelchair access

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Window washer fights for life after 11-story fall

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Cosby philanthropy shadowed by sexual allegations

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

    Oakland police arrest more than 40 protesters

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

     
    Lawmakers target Golden Gate Bridge sidewalk fee

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

    Arkansas, Mississippi gay marriage bans overturned

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

     
    Calorie count to appear with many prepared foods

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

    Activists: Syrian strikes kill 60 in IS-held city

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

     
    AP sources: Top candidate for defense job bows out

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

    WWII Museum opening new pavilion in New Orleans

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

     
    Police: Students ran high school prostitution ring

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

    Wet basements in Buffalo as flooding fears ease

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

     
    Soldiers to spend Thanksgiving in Ebola isolation

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

    2 teen female bombers kill more than 40 in Nigeria

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

     
    8 shoes of Holocaust victims stolen in Poland

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

    Official: Afghan president orders military review

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

     
    .

    Opinion

     
    Hagel: The fall guy

    By David Rothkopf | From Page: A8

     
    Senate staff cuts reduce transparency

    By Dan Walters | From Page: A8

    .

    Living

    Community Calendar: Nov. 26, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

     
    Today in History: Nov. 26, 2014

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Community Calendar: Nov. 25, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

     
    The man I’m seeing makes no effort to get to know my kids

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B5

    Horoscope for Nov. 26, 2014

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

     
    A do-ahead cornmeal biscuit to sop up your gravy

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

    Eggs make all the difference in mashed potatoes

    By J.M. Hirsch | From Page: B6

     
    Fresh take on an herb-roasted Thanksgiving turkey

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

    Turn turkey leftovers into a healthy dinner salad

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

     
    .

    Entertainment

    TVGrid

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

     
    ‘Birdman’ leads Spirit Awards nominations

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    .

    Sports

    Vacaville Christian wins 3-0, advances to state quarterfinals

    By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Curry powers Warriors past Heat 114-97

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    49ers rookies shine in big roles, out of necessity

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Cousins, Kings beat Pelicans 99-89

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Red Sox bring in Sandoval, Hanley Ramirez

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Bama, FSU, Oregon, Miss St keep playoff rankings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Messi sets European record with 74 goals

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Judge OKs Hernandez trial delay in 2012 killings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Kurt Busch wins delay of Delaware court hearing

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Giants third base coach Tim Flannery retires

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    AP source: Left-hander Jon Lester, Giants to meet

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Pats are unanimous No. 1 in AP Pro32 rankings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    NFL, union discuss personal conduct policy

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    .

    Business

    New iPhones push Apple’s market cap past $700B

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

     
    Twitter lets merchants offer deals to its users

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

    US economy posts even stronger growth in Q3

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

     
    Thanksgiving travel woes? There’s an app for that

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

    US home price gains slow for 10th straight month

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

     
    Barbie dethroned by Team Elsa

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

    Rain, snow could mess up Thanksgiving travel

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Esther Ringler

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    Glenita Reyes McLaughliin

    By Daily Republic | From Page: A4

    Leslie “Esi” Gros

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Dilbert

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Peanuts

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Baby Blues

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Pickles

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Zits

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Sally Forth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Rose is Rose

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Get Fuzzy

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Frank and Ernest

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    B.C.

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Blondie

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Garfield

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Wizard of Id

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    For Better or Worse

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Beetle Bailey

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Baldo

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Cryptoquote

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Sudoku

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Bridge

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Word Sleuth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5