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Tuesday, September 02, 2014, 10 a.m.
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Ukraine troops, tanks head to troubled east

By The Associated Press

This article was published April 15, 2014 at 10:30 a.m.

ukrainian-soldiers-stand-at-armored-personnel-carriers-with-ukrainian-flags-in-the-back-as-ukrainian-army-troops-receive-ammunition-in-a-field-on-the-outskirts-of-izyum-eastern-ukraine-on-tuesday-april-15-2014-an-associated-press-reporter-saw-at-least-14-armored-personnel-carriers-with-ukrainian-flags-one-helicopter-and-military-trucks-parked-24-miles-north-of-the-city-tuesday

Ukrainian soldiers stand at armored personnel carriers, with Ukrainian flags in the back, as Ukrainian army troops receive ammunition in a field on the outskirts of Izyum, Eastern Ukraine, on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. An Associated Press reporter saw at least 14 armored personnel carriers with Ukrainian flags, one helicopter and military trucks parked 24 miles north of the city Tuesday.

IZYUM, Ukraine — Busloads of Ukrainian troops and a handful of tanks set up Tuesday outside an eastern city controlled by armed pro-Russian militiamen as the country's acting president announced an "anti-terrorist operation" to root out the separatists.

Much of the focus Tuesday was around the eastern city of Slovyansk, 100 miles from the Russian border, which has come under the increasing control of the gunmen who seized it last weekend.

An Associated Press reporter saw at least 14 armored personnel carriers with Ukrainian flags, one helicopter and military trucks parked 24 miles north of the city. Other heavy military equipment appeared nearby, along with at least seven busloads of government troops in black military fatigues.

"We are awaiting the order to move on Sloyvansk," said one soldier, who gave only his first name, Taras.

Two of the helicopters loaded with troops later took off and headed toward Slovyansk.

Russia's state RIA Novosti news agency reported that Ukrainian army troops wounded two pro-Russian militiamen Tuesday during a skirmish near a small airport in Kramatorsk, not far from Slovyansk. The report could not independently be confirmed.

RIA Novosti said the troops drove to the airport n an armored personnel carrier, started talking to the gunmen who control the site and a skirmish broke out. It did not elaborate.

Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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