In what appears to be its first act after the restart of an anti-terror operation to purge Kremlin-backed separatists from eastern Ukraine, the country’s elite Interior Ministry forces “liberated” the resort town of Svyatohirsk in northern Donetsk Oblast “from unlawful armed groups,” the ministry reported on its website.
Prior to the operation, Ukrainian security officials had discovered the city’s monastery, the Svyatohirsk Assumption Lavra of the Moscow Patriarchate, served as a military base for the insurgents who have besieged the region.
“The Interior Ministry’s special forces have freed the town of Svyatohirsk from an illegal armed group of separatists. Law enforcers who took part in the anti-terrorist operation drove the illegal armed groups out of the village. There have been no casualties,” the ministry’s report reads.
Police are now patrolling and securing the city, it says.
Svyatohirsk is of strategic importance, as it is located at the border of three regions: Donetsk, Kharkiv and Luhansk.