World Bulletin/News Desk
Ukrainian troops were digging in to a new position a few miles from the separatist-held city of Slaviansk early on Thursday, a Reuters correspondent said.
Dozens of soldiers in camouflage uniform, some wearing airborne patches, were setting up sandbag defences around at least six BMD light armoured vehicles and putting up a tent near a settlement called Malynivka, some 12 km (8 miles) south of Slaviansk on the main road to the regional capital Donetsk.
Troops and police were manning a checkpoint on the road, checking vehicles moving in and out of the area. The military unit also had light machineguns and anti-tank weapons.
The Ukrainian government has said it is launching a renewed "anti-terrorist operation" to retake towns and public buildings held by pro-Russian separatists if they do not disarm and leave under the terms of an accord with Russia made in Geneva a week ago that was also signed by the United States and the European Union.
Ukraine's Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said troops repelled an overnight attack on a base at Artemivsk, 40 km (25 miles) southeast of Slaviansk by what he said was a force of about 70 led by Russian soldiers. Moscow denies having any troops in Ukraine.
A soldier was wounded in the attack by about 70 people who Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said on Facebook were led by Russian soldiers. Casualty details for the attackers were not clear, he said.
Avakov also said pro-Russian protesters had left the town hall in Mariupol, an industrial city on the Black Sea coast, and the mayor was back in his office - meeting the agreements made with Russia at a Geneva meeting a week ago.Last Mod: 24 Nisan 2014, 11:20