#AceNewsServices – UKRAINE – May 09 – Shooting, military vehicles and armed fighters clad in black uniforms are reported to be in the centre of Mariupol in Eastern Ukraine. Unconfirmed reports suggest one person has been killed and four wounded in the offensive.
Many people came to mark Victory Day, but as the reports of shooting started coming in, they moved on to show support for a few dozen policemen who had barricaded inside the building, refusing to take orders from Kiev.
Federalization supporters screamed “Fascists!” as the Kiev forces approached.
One of the armoured vehicles then opened fire at a group of unarmed civilians, according to a self-defence forces’ representative.
RT’s stringer in Mariupol has been injured while trying to film and is now in hospital. Doctors say that in spite of his bulletproof vest he has sustained an injury to the stomach.
“About 1,500 people left the parade and went to the local interior ministry HQ. People in camouflage confronted them, shooting into the air using lethal weapons,” a witness told Interfax.
tanks, national guard and gunfire in #Mariupol today on #VictoryDay reports @Ruptly producer on the ground. Footage expected soon
— Lizzie Phelan (@LizziePhelan) May 9, 2014
The witness also stated that another group of city residents set a car tire on fire next to the city council building.
Earlier, self-defense forces in Mariupol reported that armed people had tried to seize the local city department of the Interior Ministry.
“Camouflaged people are storming the building of the city’s interior ministry department. A bus with soldiers has driven up – they are from a military unit located in the vicinity of Mariupol. Policemen who refuse to obey Kiev regime’s orders are being detained,” a representative of the self-defence forces told Interfax.
The self-defence forces also said that “policemen of the city department refused to obey Kiev’s orders and guard the building of the city council, which had been seized a day earlier by the Ukrainian security services. As a result, Kiev authorities decided to storm the building of the city Interior Ministry department, policemen are shooting back, the building is surrounded.”
The information on the number of casualties is now being checked, the self-defence forces representative said.
Self-defence forces say the government forces used heavy weaponry while storming the local branch of the Interior Ministry. “Armoured vehicles approached the building and opened fire with heavy weapons. The building is old and has thick walls, so you can’t penetrate it with machine gun fire,” a representative of the self-defence forces told Interfax news agency.
City streets are now on lock-down for transport and pedestrians, as armoured vehicles are approaching from the airport outside the city.
“Yesterday we were told that some provocations were being prepared, but people didn’t believe it, so a Victory Day parade was scheduled for 9am today,” a local resident, who identified herself as Victoria, told RT.
Ukrainian MP Oleg Lyashko claims that forces loyal to the Kiev coup-installed government have orders “not to take anyone alive.”
He wrote in his Facebook account that “the perimeter around the Interior Ministry department building in Mariupol is completely blocked by the armed forces. Terrorists are barricaded inside and are now returning fire. An order has been issued not to take anyone alive.”
RT – Interfax – RIA Novosti – Twitter