Russian state TV says five killed in east Ukraine clash

Last updated 21:10 20/04/2014

Ukraine's prime minister speaks of fears about how far Vladimir Putin will go in what he called attempts to rebuild the Soviet Union. Paul Chapman reports

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Russian state television reported on Sunday that five people were killed when gunmen attacked a checkpoint manned by pro-Russian separatists near the eastern Ukrainian city of Slaviansk.

A Reuters TV witness said on Sunday he had seen two bodies, one with gunshot wounds to the head and face, at a checkpoint outside  Slaviansk where separatists said earlier they had come under armed attack.

One of the dead was dressed in combat fatigues and the other in civilian clothes. Police were at the scene carrying out an investigation, he said.

Ukraine's Interior Ministry in Kiev could not immediately be reached for comment and Interior Minister Arsen Avakov had no word of the reported incident on his Facebook page, where he usually posts updates on any clashes.

Russia's state-run Rossiya 24 news station, citing its correspondent in Slaviansk, said three of the dead were with the pro-Russian separatists who control Slaviansk, and the other two were from the group which attacked their checkpoint.

The self-declared mayor of Slaviansk, who supports the pro-Russian separatists in the city, said there had been a clash overnight and there were casualties, a Reuters Television team in Slaviansk said.

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- Reuters

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