At least five protesters have been killed and one injured as Ukrainian troops enter the eastern city of Slavyansk, which is held by pro-Russia protesters.
Ukrainian Interior Ministry issued a report on Thursday saying that at least five pro-Russian protesters had been killed and one police officer injured.
Locals have told reporters that at least eight armored personal vehicles had passed through a village near Slavyansk.
There are also reports of helicopters circling the city and that mobile phone connections have been disconnected.
On April 17, Ukraine’s interim government together with the United States, Russia and the European Union reached an agreement in the Swiss city of Geneva, calling for all sides to ease the ongoing crisis in eastern Ukraine, where anti-Kiev protesters keep occupying state buildings in several towns and cities.
In the past weeks, pro-Russian activists have taken control of government buildings in more than ten cities in the eastern parts of the country. They have been demanding local referendums on independence.
Tensions between Western powers and Moscow heightened after Crimea declared independence from Ukraine and became part of Russia following a referendum on March 16, in which almost 97 percent of the participants voted for rejoining the Russian Federation, with a turnout of over 83 percent.