Ukrainian security force officers walk past a checkpoint set on fire and left by pro-Russian separatists near Slaviansk April 24, 2014. Ukrainian troops were digging in to a new position a few miles from the separatist-held city of Slaviansk early on Thursday, a Reuters correspondent said. Dozens of soldiers in camouflage uniform, some wearing airborne patches, were setting up sandbag defences around at least six BMD light armoured vehicles and putting up a tent near a settlement called Malynivka, some 12 km (8 miles) south of Slaviansk on the main road to the regional capital Donetsk. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich (UKRAINE - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST MILITARY) - RTR3MFEH Gleb Garanich/Reuters
The Ukrainian government and pro-Russia insurgents report at least two deaths on the pro-Russia side during clashes in east Ukraine.
The Ukrainian Interior Ministry said in a statement that military and special police forces killed "up to five terrorists" on Thursday while destroying three checkpoints on a road north of the city of Slovyansk.
A spokeswoman for the Slovyansk insurgents, Stella Khorosheva, said she could confirm that at least two pro-Russia fighters were killed.
The fighting was the first since acting President Oleksandr Turchynov on Tuesday ordered the resumption of military operations in east Ukraine, where pro-Russia protesters and masked gunmen have seized government buildings and set up checkpoints along the roads.