KIEV, Ukraine (AP) â€” Three pro-Russian militants have been killed and 13 wounded after Ukrainian troops repelled an attack on a National Guard base in the Black Sea port of Mariupol, Ukraine’s interior minister said Thursday.
A crowd of around 300 men armed with Molotov cocktails attacked the base, in the south-east part of the country late Wednesday, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said in a statement.
He said they were repelled by the National Guard and police forces and 63 people had been arrested as a result of the operation. Most of the attackers were disarmed, he added.
A well-armed, Russia-backed insurgency has sowed chaos in eastern Ukraine in the past weeks. Militants have seized police stations and administrative buildings in at least 10 towns in the region, including Mariupol.
The latest unrest came just hours before diplomats from Ukraine, the U.S., the European Union and Russia prepared to meet Thursday for the first time over the burgeoning crisis that threatens to roil the new government in Kiev. With Ukraine struggling to contain the pro-Russian uprising, the Obama administration has said it is readying additional sanctions against Moscow and a boost in aid for the Ukrainian military in the coming days.