City Hall cleared of pro-Russia protesters

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Police have cleared a city hall in south-eastern Ukraine of pro-Russian protesters who had been occupying it for more than a week, Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said yesterday.

Pro-Russian protesters and masked gunmen have been occupying government buildings across eastern Ukraine for nearly two weeks.

Mr Avakov wrote in a Facebook post yesterday that the city hall in Mariupol “has been freed to resume work”. He said no casualties were reported.

A local news website said five people who were occupying the building were injured in clashes with the police.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian government and pro-Russia insurgents reported at least two deaths on the pro-Russia side during clashes in east Ukraine.

The Ukrainian interior ministry said military and special police forces killed “up to five terrorists” while destroying three checkpoints on a road north of the city of Slovyansk.

A spokeswoman for the Slovyansk insurgents said at least two pro-Russia fighters were killed.

Russia must do more to calm the armed revolt in the east of Ukraine, William Hague said.

The Foreign Secretary urged Moscow to send a clear message to separatists to disarm and vacate occupied buildings. He spoke out after telephone talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.

The crisis was also on the agenda when Prime Minister David Cameron held talks at Downing Street with his Slovenian counterpart, Alenka Bratusek. “They discussed the importance of sending a clear message that all sides must work urgently to de-escalate the situation,” a Number 10 spokesman said.