At least one person was reportedly killed and three were injured in a shootout between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces in an eastern Ukrainian city. The incident, which took place at a roadblock outside the city of Slovyansk, was the first reported violence since Thursday's joint agreement between Russia, Ukraine, the U.S., and the EU.
Russian news agencies, citing officials with the pro-Russian militia that seized control of the city last weekend, reported that up to five people had been killed—three who were guarding the checkpoint and two who had opened fire from inside a pair of vehicles as they approached the roadblock. Photos from the scene showed two vehicles bearing Ukrainian license plates that appeared entirely gutted by fire.
With the ink on the Geneva agreement was hardly dry, the two sides immediately exchanged blame for the incident. More alarmingly, the pro-Russian contingent called on Moscow for back-up.
As we noted earlier, the militias across eastern Ukraine have not given up any of the occupied buildings and have vowed to stay until the new government in Kiev resigns. Fat chance, guys. The groups have also rejected the Geneva agreement that was aimed at de-escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine.
Expectations for the agreement were not particularly high anyway. President Obama immediately offered a verbal shrug when asked if he thought Russia would intervene and slow the roll of the pro-Russian militias.