Apr 20, 2014 12:07 PM by Associated Press

Ukraine, Russia trade blame for a shootout in eastern Ukraine that leaves 3 dead

BYLBASIVKA, Ukraine (AP) - The self-proclaimed mayor of Slovyansk in eastern Ukraine is appealing to Russia to send in peacekeeping troops after a shootout at checkpoint near the city manned by pro-Russia insurgents.

The Ukrainian Interior Ministry says three people died in the attack and three others were wounded. The statement says some of the attackers were also killed or wounded, but the ministry did not have a number.

Russia is blaming militant Ukrainian nationalists for the incident while the Ukrainian government says it was staged by provocateurs from outside the country.

The armed clash appears to be the first since an international agreement was reached last week in Geneva to ease tensions in eastern Ukraine, where armed pro-Russia activists have seized government buildings in at least 10 cities.

Ukraine and many in the West fear that clashes such as today's could provide a pretext for Russia to seize more Ukrainian territory.


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