Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Ukrainian forces destroy police building in restive east

MARIUPOL, Ukraine — Ukrainian security forces driving armored vehicles attacked a police station in this city of half a million Friday, reducing the building to smoldering rubble and killing at least seven people, according to local residents who said they had seen the assault.

The attack signaled what appeared to be a major escalation in the interim government's fight with pro-Russian militants in southeastern Ukraine, and it came two days after President Vladimir Putin of Russia urged that the separatists delay a referendum scheduled for Sunday and that all sides settle their differences through dialogue.

Hours after the assault, the bodies of two of the dead were still lying in the street, possibly victims of gunfire that the security forces leveled against a crowd of people who broke away from a pro-Russian Victory Day march to lend support to the police inside the station, residents said.

The death toll was expected to rise as rescue workers gained access to the police station, which exploded in flames during the attack. Hospital officials said they were treating 26 people for wounds and holding the bodies of five others.

In recent weeks, Ukrainian army units have set up bases outside many of the cities in southeastern Ukraine where pro-Russian militants have seized public buildings and proclaimed an independent Donetsk People's Republic. In that time, the units attacked a few rebel-held checkpoints, but until Friday they had not undertaken a frontal assault on any of the buildings being held by the separatists.

Unlike in other parts of eastern Ukraine, the security forces in Mariupol seemed determined not to cede control of the city without a fight. The heavily armed forces arrived about 10 a.m. and fought a fierce two-hour battle to retake the building.

By afternoon, the police station was a smoldering ruin. A plume of smoke rose into the sky where the roof had collapsed. The walls were charred and pockmarked with bullet holes, and there were at least three large cavities apparently caused by heavy weapons.

Information from the Washington Post was used in this report.

Ukrainian forces destroy police building in restive east 05/09/14 [Last modified: Friday, May 9, 2014 10:13pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, New York Times.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Pitching on no rest backfires for Erasmo Ramirez, Rays

    The Heater

    ARLINGTON, Texas — After battling through a 61/2-hour affair Sunday in Minnesota that was the second-longest game in franchise history, Rays officials were quick to decide that even though Erasmo Ramirez had just worked the 15th and final inning, they would stick with him to start Monday's game in Texas.

    Erasmo Ramirez, starting a day after closing a 15-inning marathon, struggles against the Rangers, comes out after throwing 43 pitches in 21/3 innings.
  2. Britain investigating missed signals over Manchester bomber

    World

    LONDON — Britain's domestic intelligence agency, MI5, is investigating its response to warnings from the public about the threat posed by Salman Abedi, the suicide bomber who killed 22 people and wounded dozens more in an attack at a crowded Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, last week.

    People gather Monday at St. Ann’s Square in Manchester, England, to view tributes to victims of the suicide bombing that killed 22 on May 22 as a concert by Ariana Grande was concluding.
  3. Trump condemns killing of pair who tried to stop racist rant

    Nation

    The mayor of Portland, Ore., on Monday urged U.S. officials and organizers to cancel a "Trump Free Speech Rally" and other similar events, saying they are inappropriate and could be dangerous after two men were stabbed to death on a train as they tried to help a pair of young women targeted by an anti-Muslim tirade.

    Coco Douglas, 8, leaves a handmade sign and rocks she painted at a memorial in Portland, Ore., on Saturday for two bystanders who were stabbed to death Friday while trying to stop a man who was yelling anti-Muslim slurs and acting aggressively toward two young women. From left are Coco's brother, Desmond Douglas; her father, Christopher Douglas; and her stepmother, Angel Sauls. [Associated Press]
  4. What major sporting event could Tampa Bay land next?

    Lightning Strikes

    We are on quite a roll as a community. First, we had a Super Bowl drop from the storm clouds into our lap. It just reaffirms the fact that Tampa Bay is great at lap. And Monday it became official: Next year's NHL All-Star Game will be held at Amalie Arena. The best in the world will be here to shoot and score. And …

    MVP Wayne Gretzky is congratulated at the 1999 NHL All-Star game, the last time the event was in Tampa Bay. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times file]
  5. How the 2018 NHL All-Star Game reflects Jeff Vinik's vision for Tampa

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — There were several reasons the NHL announced Monday that Tampa will host the 2018 All-Star Game on Jan. 28.

    This was the  logo for the 1999 NHL All-Star game played Sunday, Jan 24, 1999 at the Ice Palace in Tampa Bay. (AP Photo)