Ukraine, Russia Trade Blame as Six Killed in Eastern Shootout

Easter Truce Threatened by Checkpoint Attack

An agreed-upon Easter truce in eastern Ukraine lasted only a few hours before the single bloodiest incident of the entire conflict over the area, when attackers opened fire on a protester-run checkpoint in Slovyansk, killing six and wounding an unknown number of people.

Exactly what happened is unclear, as Ukraine’s government insists they did not launch the attack. Russia blamed the neo-Nazi Right Sector for the strike, while the Right Sector insisted the allegation was “blasphemous” and that the Russian military “clearly” staged the entire incident to embarrass them.

Ukraine’s government jumped on the bandwagon, embracing the Right Sector’s explanation and insisting the protesters had staged a “cynical provocation” with the support of Russia’s military intelligence.

Though Ukraine’s military apparently had no role in today’s checkpoint attack, they did attempt to invade Slovyansk last week, in an offensive that failed and ended with many troops refusing orders to attack protesters and surrendering without firing a shot.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.