Turchynov said that "the terrorists who effectively took the whole Donetsk Oblast hostage have now gone too far".  The streets emptied, and insurgents erected barricades across the city to control traffic.  He added, however, that the government "must recognise us as a state, now it is already impossible to ask for a certain degree of autonomy". " The Internal Affairs ministry has denied claims that foreign citizens are fighting in the Azov Battalion, though a man calling himself "Mikael Skillt" told a BBC journalist on the telephone that he was a Swedish sniper serving in the Azov Battalion.  A number of civilians were killed in fighting in both cities. US State Department spokesman Jen Psaki said that "these incursions indicate a Russian-directed counteroffensive is likely underway", and Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko said "An invasion of Russian forces has taken place".  Other volunteer battalions, such as the Azov and Dnipro, left Ilovaisk after encountering heavy resistance. , Early in the morning on 7 May, the National Guard retook the city administration in Mariupol after heavy fighting with insurgents overnight. The fighting in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region is entering its fifth year. Mariupol was then declared the provisional capital of Donetsk Oblast, in place of Donetsk city, which was occupied by separatists.. " Mozhaev also alleged that some of the more extreme views of the Cossacks include destroying "the Jew-Masons," who they claim have been "fomenting disorder all over the world" and "causing us, the common Orthodox Christian folk, to suffer.  This culminated on 25 August, when the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said that it captured a group of Russian paratroopers in Ukrainian territory.  At least twenty civilians were killed in the shelling of Luhansk, according to a statement by the city administration.  Commander of the DPR insurgents, Igor Girkin, took the decision "due to the overwhelming numerical superiority of the enemy", according to DPR prime minister Alexander Borodai. February 19th, 2015. , Heavy fighting also resumed around Donetsk airport overnight, and explosions were heard in all districts of the city.  Khodakovsky said he had about 1,000 men at his disposal, and that more "volunteers" with experience in the Russian security sector were expected to join the battalion. There was an attempted provocation but now it's over".  Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko said that Ukrainian artillery engaged and destroyed a "significant" portion of the armoured column.  According to Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko, the war will be known in history of Ukraine as the "Patriotic War".  Ceasefire violations continued, however.  Military operations were paused on 31 July.  Some people gathered outside the occupied police building to voice their support for the militants. , Starting on 4 May 2014, the United Ossetia Party and the Union of Paratroopers in the pro-Russian breakaway Republic of South Ossetia announced a recruitment drive meant to send veterans of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict to protect "the peaceful population of Ukraine's southeast". Since the conflict originated in 2014, more than 10,000 people have been killed and over one million have been displaced.  The battalion includes both fighters from Russia and from Ukraine.  Eleven went missing, and thirteen were wounded.  Five members of the Donbas Battalion were killed, along with four separatists.  Despite this, Ukrainian troops quickly withdrew from the city for unknown reasons, and the separatists quickly regained control.  Government forces launched air and artillery strikes on insurgents within the city, and clashes were fought all around it.  Russia denied these reports.  Twenty of the pro-government paramilitaries were wounded, and at least four were captured. ", In late July, the local support for the militia within the city of Donetsk was estimated to be 70% by a local entrepreneur interviewed by Die Welt. According to these reports, the Vostok Battalion had rejected the authority of Igor Girkin. The Ukraine crisis occurred in 2013 when its people replaced Russian ties for a trade deal with the EU. The number of internal refugees rose to 117,000. At least eleven Ukrainian soldiers died in the fighting.  Following the takeover, local police announced that they would co-operate with the activists. Humanitarian corridors are meant to be maintained, so that civilians can leave affected areas.  On the same day, militants seized control over the city administration building in Alchevsk.  Separatists blamed the incident on a government airstrike, but Ukrainian officials denied this, and claimed that the explosion was caused by a stray surface-to-air missile fired by insurgents. Several of the soldiers looked Chechen, spoke the Chechen language, and said that they were from Chechnya. DPR forces stated their intention to "fight their way to the Azov Sea" on 23 August. Government forces made a further advance on 30 July, when they evicted insurgents from Avdiivka, near Donetsk airport. , DPR policemen in Donetsk, 20 September 2014, Members of the Trilateral Contact Group and the DPR took part in a video conference on 25 September 2014. People line up in war-ravaged eastern Ukraine in the movie “Donbass.”. , In response to the spread of separatist control throughout Donetsk Oblast, and the refusal of the separatists to lay down their arms, Turchynov vowed to launch a military counter-offensive operation against insurgents in the region on 15 April.  The Internal Affairs ministry stated that some insurgents had attempted to enter Luhansk Oblast from Russia, but had been repelled by border guards.  It reportedly had 100 members at the time of its founding, including locals and Russian volunteers. , Clashes between government forces and pro-Russian groups escalated in early May, when the city administration building was briefly retaken by the Ukrainian National Guard. Alexander Borodai, prime minister of the DPR, denied these reports, however, and said that they were lies.  If this is an uprising by the Donetsk People's Republic, what are foreigners doing here?  Western officials described the new insurgent actions as a "stealth invasion" by the Russian Federation, with tanks, artillery and infantry said to have crossed into Ukraine from Russian territory. , By early August, at least 730,000 had fled fighting in the Donbass and left for Russia. This was subsequently rejected.  Most of those polled said that direct war with Ukraine was either "absolutely impossible" or "extremely unlikely". The municipal administration building in Donetsk city was stormed and occupied by the insurgents on 16 April. According to Donetsk city administration, eleven houses were damaged in Petrivsky, and at least one man was injured.  The local chief of police was captured and badly beaten by the insurgents.  Some videos issued by an Ossetian militant group indicated that they were operating in Donetsk. The original battalion was incorporated in 2009 into a Russian Defence Ministry reserve unit that is based in Chechnya.  Heavy fighting was observed by OSCE monitors near the villages of Shyrokyne and Bezimenne on 4 September. The fighting in these areas left six insurgents dead, and three government soldiers wounded. 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