- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 17, 2014

Three pro-Russian fighters are dead after they and about 300 of their colleagues stormed onto a national guard base in the eastern segment of Ukraine, sparking a gun battle in their quest to take control of the Mariupol property.

Interfax Ukraine reported that Ukraine’s interior minister, Arsen Avakov, posted on Facebook that 63 of the 300 pro-Russian separatists were detained. He also specified that the separatists threw Molotov cocktails at the base before open firing and that Ukrainian troops sent out several warning shots before taking aim, NBC News reported.

Reuters reported the translated version of Mr. Avakov’s Facebook post: “No casualties have been reported among the Interior Ministry servicemen. The preliminary information available suggests that three of the militants were killed, 13 were injured and 53 were detained. Weapons, communication equipment and mobile phones were confiscated. The identities of the detained persons are being established.”

On Thursday, Secretary of State John Kerry is supposed to meet with his counterparts from the European Union, Ukraine and Russia. President Obama, meanwhile, said in a televised interview reported by CBS that Russia will no doubt face “consequences” due to its aggression into Ukraine — but did not specify further.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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