100,000 pro-Russia forces to join fight in east Ukraine
Iran Press TV
Mon Feb 2, 2015 2:57PM
The leader of the pro-Russia forces in eastern Ukraine has announced that their side is to be reinforced by 100,000 more fighters by spring.
"In 10 days, we will begin a general mobilization," Alexander Zakharchenko said, according to the semi-official Donetsk News Agency, adding, "We plan to mobilize up to 100,000 people."
On January 20, Ukraine conducted the fourth wave of mobilization of its armed forces since the conflict in eastern regions started. Another two waves are planned for April and June.
According to Ukraine's Minister of Defense Stepan Poltorak, a total of 104,000 Ukrainians will be mobilized throughout 2015.
Forces of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic have, meanwhile, said they have seized two large ammunition depots and prevented army columns from delivering food and fuel to troops in the town of Debaltseve.
Eduard Basurin, the deputy commander of the self-proclaimed republic's forces, said on Sunday that nearly 60 Ukrainian troops had been killed during recent clashes with pro-Russia forces in the region.
The two mainly Russian-speaking regions of Donetsk and Lugansk in eastern Ukraine have been the scene of deadly clashes between pro-Russia forces and the Ukrainian army since Kiev's military operation started in April 2014, in a bid to crush the protests.
Violence intensified in May 2014, after the two flashpoint regions held local referendums in which their residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence from Ukraine and joining the Russian Federation.
The fighting has left more than 5,100 people killed and over 1.5 million displaced, the United Nations says.
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