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Volunteer corps members are battling against Kiev's army on outskirts of Sloviansk

May 16, 2014, 2:10 UTC+3 SLAVYANSK

"Our immediate task is to hold the line and edge them away from the city," a spokesman for the people's volunteer corps said

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© ITAR-TASS/ Mikhail Pochuev

SLOVIANSK, May 16, 1:46 /ITAR-TASS/. On the outskirts of Sloviansk, Kiev-controlled units are firing from artillety guns at the positions of the volunteer corps members, Ilya, a spokesman for the people's volunteer corps in Sloviansk, told Itar-Tass.

"At present, fighting is under way on the approaches to Sloviansk near Andreyevka and Semyonovka Villages, the town of Krasny Liman, and Mount Karagun. They (the military) pressurize us morally and do not give a respite. Bombardment has been going on unceasingly since 14:00 (13:00, Moscow time) on Thursday. They (the attackers) are firing from mortars and large-caliber machine-guns. There are also data that they are bringing up heavy military hardware," Ilya said.

"Our immediate task is to hold the line and edge them away from the city," Ilya said.

Approaches to Sloviansk from the direction of the city of Kramatorsk have been blocked by Ukrainian National Guard forces.

The VCM spokesman related that the road had been cut off by armoured personnel carriers and checkpoints and all the motorists are subjected to body searches.

"It is difficult to ride into Sloviask for young people aged from 20 to 36," the VCM spokesman said, specifying that, regardless of age, all the motorists are subjected to a thorough frisk. "The military carry out body searches and rummage through personal belongings, even feminine ones," the VCM spokesman said, adding that National Guard troopers ask questions in Ukrainian and "get irritated if people do not understand and ask them to repeat the questions".

People who arrive with photo or video cameras arouse the troopers' particular suspicion. "The troopers look all the sequences and photo camera recordings through. If any questions arise, they contact their headquarters and consult them," he added. Motor vehicles are are also inspected thoroughly: even spare wheels are removed and ripped open.

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