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Deadly Gunfight in Eastern Ukraine Shatters Easter Truce

The gunfight left at least three people dead in the pro-Russia occupied city of Sloviansk.

by Leezel Tanglao
Apr 20 2014, 6:45pm

Photo by Reuters

An Easter truce between pro-Russia activists and pro-Ukrainian groups was shattered today when a deadly gunfight erupted near the eastern Ukrainian city of Sloviansk.

The gunfight left at least three people dead in the pro-Russia occupied city, according to news reports.

The separatists manning the checkpoint are claiming that Right Sector militants carried out the attack.

Separatists are claiming that members of the Right Sector, a Ukrainian nationalist group, attacked the pro-Russia activists at their Sloviansk checkpoint.

In Photos: Ukraine launches 'counter-terrorism' mission. View the pictures here.

This video shows self-appointed Sloviansk Mayor Vyacheslav Ponomaryov giving a presser on Sunday where he reportedly asked for military assistance from Russia.

The Right Sector has denied any role in the attack, and stated that it was a "blasphemous provocation from Russia: blasphemous because it took place on a holy night for Christians, on Easter night. This was clearly carried out by Russian special forces," Right Sector spokesman Artem Skoropadsky told Reuters.

The videos above show the aftermath of the gunfight that left several people dead in the Pro-Russia occupied Ukrainian town.

Russia’s foreign ministry said in a statement that officials were outraged over the broken agreement that was signed earlier this week.

"It is surprising that the tragedy occurred after the signing on April 17 in Geneva of the final statement of the four-sided meeting of representatives of Russia, the USA, EU, and Ukraine, which calls for refraining from any violent actions, intimidation, or provocations. The Russian side insists on the strict fulfillment by the Ukrainian side of its commitments concerning the de-escalation the situation in southeast Ukraine,” the ministry’s statement said.

Ukrainian officials really don’t seem to have any authority in Eastern Ukraine. Read more here.

Ukraine’s foreign ministry responded saying that Russia is rushing to judgment on the situation.

"The Russian side must be reminded about their obligations under the Geneva agreement to bring all necessary influence to bear on separatists to clear illegally held buildings, unblock roads, lay down arms, and prevent any bloodshed," the foreign ministry's statement said.

Pro-Russia protesters storm Ukrainian government buildings. Read more here.

Over the last several weeks, pro-Russia separatists have stormed and occupied government buildings in several Eastern Ukrainian cities. The protesters are calling for a referendum that is similar to the legislation that led to the annexation of Crimea by Russia last month.

Last week, Ukraine launched an anti-terror campaign against Pro-Russia forces to recapture occupied cities.

More on Ukraine from VICE News:

Watch all of VICE News' dispatches, Russian Roulette: The Invasion of Ukraine here.

In Photos: Pro-Russia protesters seize buildings in Ukraine. View the pictures here.