A member of the Ukrainian special forces takes position at an abandoned roadblock in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slaviansk on April 24, 2014. Kirill Kudryavtsev / AFP
A member of the Ukrainian special forces takes position at an abandoned roadblock in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slaviansk on April 24, 2014. Kirill Kudryavtsev / AFP



SLOVIANSK // Five pro-Russian separatists were killed yesterday as the Ukrainian government launched an operation to drive militants out of occupied areas in its east.

Russia responded by announcing military exercises along the border, just hours after Ukrainian troops killed the insurgents.

Statements from president Vladimir Putin and defence minister Sergei Shoigu increased fears of a new incursion into Ukraine.

Russia had warned a day earlier that any attack on its citizens or interests in eastern Ukraine would bring a strong response.

Ukraine’s interior ministry said military and police forces killed “up to five terrorists” while destroying three checkpoints north of Sloviansk yesterday. A government member was wounded, it said.

Stella Khorosheva, a spokeswoman for the Sloviansk insurgents, said two pro-Russian fighters were killed at a checkpoint in Khrestyshche, 10 kilometres north of the city.

The situation was quiet in Sloviansk, but checkpoints inside the city were abandoned and it was unclear where the pro-Russian insurgents manning them had gone.

In Kiev, Ukraine’s acting president accused Russia of backing and supplying the separatists in the east and demanded that Moscow stop its intimidation campaign and leave his country alone.

Oleksandr Turchynov said in an address to the nation that Russia was “coordinating and openly supporting terrorist killers” in eastern Ukraine, where government buildings in at least 10 cities have been seized by gunmen. He said Russia must pull its troops from the border and “stop the constant threats”.

Mr Putin decried Ukraine’s “punitive operation” and threatened Kiev with unspecified consequences.

“If the Kiev government is using the army against its own people this is clearly a grave crime,” he said.

Russia already has tens of thousands of troops stationed in regions along its border with Ukraine.

The latest military exercises will involve ground troops in the south and the west, and the air forces patrolling the border, Mr Shoigu said.

Nato’s deputy secretary general Alexander Vershbow sharply criticised Russia for making “veiled threats” and said Russia should pull its troops back.

The Ukrainian government and the West worry that Mr Putin would welcome a pretext for a military intervention in eastern Ukraine.

Mr Putin denies that any Russian agents are operating in Ukraine, but insists he has the right to intervene to protect the ethnic Russians who make up a sizeable minority in eastern Ukraine.

Earlier in Tokyo, US president Barack Obama accused Moscow of failing to live up to “the spirit or the letter” of a deal last week to ease tensions in eastern Ukraine.

If that continued, Mr Obama said, “there will be further consequences and we will ramp up further sanctions”.

Pro-Russian forces say the interim government has not lived up to the Geneva deal by not making nationalists in Kiev disarm and withdraw from their occupied buildings.

With no appetite in the US for a military response, Mr Obama is largely banking on Mr Putin caving in under economic sanctions against his closest associates.

But the success of that strategy also depends on European nations with closer financial ties to Moscow taking similar action, despite their concerns about an effect on their own economies.

“I understand that additional sanctions may not change Mr Putin’s calculus,” Mr Obama said. “How well they change his calculus in part depends on not only us applying sanctions, but also the cooperation of other countries.”

Sloviansk, a city 160 kilometres west of the Russian border, has emerged as the focus of the armed insurgency in eastern Ukraine.

In the south-eastern city of Mariupol, interior minister Arsen Avakov said his forces had cleared city hall of the pro-Russia protesters who had been occupying it for more than a week.

Mr Avakov did not describe the operation. The Ukrainian city sits along the main road between Russia and Russia’s newly annexed Black Sea peninsula of Crimea.

Yulia Lasazan, a spokeswoman for Mariupol’s police department, said about 30 masked men armed with baseball bats stormed the building in the dark early yesterday and started beating the pro-Russia protesters. Five people were taken to a hospital, she said.

Ukraine is going through its biggest political crisis since the 1991 fall of Soviet Union, set off by months of anti-government protests that led to president Viktor Yanukovich’s flight to Russia in February.

Mr Yanukovych’s removal sparked wide anger in his support base in Ukraine’s east. The insurgents, who claim Ukraine’s interim government consists of nationalists who will suppress the east, are demanding regional autonomy or even annexation by Russia.

Ukraine and Russia reached a deal in Geneva last week to defuse the crisis, but pro-Russian insurgents in the east and right-wing militants in Kiev have defied calls for all sides to disarm and vacate the buildings they are occupying.

* Associated Press

ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

BRIEF SCORES

England 353 and 313-8 dec
(B Stokes 112, A Cook 88; M Morkel 3-70, K Rabada 3-85)
(J Bairstow 63, T Westley 59, J Root 50; K Maharaj 3-50)
South Africa 175 and 252
(T Bavuma 52; T Roland-Jones 5-57, J Anderson 3-25)
(D Elgar 136; M Ali 4-45, T Roland-Jones 3-72)

Result: England won by 239 runs
England lead four-match series 2-1

IF YOU GO
 
The flights: FlyDubai offers direct flights to Catania Airport from Dubai International Terminal 2 daily with return fares starting from Dh1,895.
 
The details: Access to the 2,900-metre elevation point at Mount Etna by cable car and 4x4 transport vehicle cost around €57.50 (Dh248) per adult. Entry into Teatro Greco costs €10 (Dh43). For more go to www.visitsicily.info

 Where to stay: Hilton Giardini Naxos offers beachfront access and accessible to Taormina and Mount Etna. Rooms start from around €130 (Dh561) per night, including taxes.

WHAT IS A BLACK HOLE?

1. Black holes are objects whose gravity is so strong not even light can escape their pull

2. They can be created when massive stars collapse under their own weight

3. Large black holes can also be formed when smaller ones collide and merge

4. The biggest black holes lurk at the centre of many galaxies, including our own

5. Astronomers believe that when the universe was very young, black holes affected how galaxies formed

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

Kill

Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5

65

Directors: Scott Beck, Bryan Woods

Stars: Adam Driver, Ariana Greenblatt, Chloe Coleman

Rating: 2/5

SNAPSHOT

While Huawei did launch the first smartphone with a 50MP image sensor in its P40 series in 2020, Oppo in 2014 introduced the Find 7, which was capable of taking 50MP images: this was done using a combination of a 13MP sensor and software that resulted in shots seemingly taken from a 50MP camera.

10 tips for entry-level job seekers
  • Have an up-to-date, professional LinkedIn profile. If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, set one up today. Avoid poor-quality profile pictures with distracting backgrounds. Include a professional summary and begin to grow your network.
  • Keep track of the job trends in your sector through the news. Apply for job alerts at your dream organisations and the types of jobs you want – LinkedIn uses AI to share similar relevant jobs based on your selections.
  • Double check that you’ve highlighted relevant skills on your resume and LinkedIn profile.
  • For most entry-level jobs, your resume will first be filtered by an applicant tracking system for keywords. Look closely at the description of the job you are applying for and mirror the language as much as possible (while being honest and accurate about your skills and experience).
  • Keep your CV professional and in a simple format – make sure you tailor your cover letter and application to the company and role.
  • Go online and look for details on job specifications for your target position. Make a list of skills required and set yourself some learning goals to tick off all the necessary skills one by one.
  • Don’t be afraid to reach outside your immediate friends and family to other acquaintances and let them know you are looking for new opportunities.
  • Make sure you’ve set your LinkedIn profile to signal that you are “open to opportunities”. Also be sure to use LinkedIn to search for people who are still actively hiring by searching for those that have the headline “I’m hiring” or “We’re hiring” in their profile.
  • Prepare for online interviews using mock interview tools. Even before landing interviews, it can be useful to start practising.
  • Be professional and patient. Always be professional with whoever you are interacting with throughout your search process, this will be remembered. You need to be patient, dedicated and not give up on your search. Candidates need to make sure they are following up appropriately for roles they have applied.

Arda Atalay, head of Mena private sector at LinkedIn Talent Solutions, Rudy Bier, managing partner of Kinetic Business Solutions and Ben Kinerman Daltrey, co-founder of KinFitz

COMPANY PROFILE

Founder: Hani Abu Ghazaleh
Based: Abu Dhabi, with an office in Montreal
Founded: 2018
Sector: Virtual Reality
Investment raised: $1.2 million, and nearing close of $5 million new funding round
Number of employees: 12

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

Green ambitions
  • Trees: 1,500 to be planted, replacing 300 felled ones, with veteran oaks protected
  • Lake: Brown's centrepiece to be cleaned of silt that makes it as shallow as 2.5cm
  • Biodiversity: Bat cave to be added and habitats designed for kingfishers and little grebes
  • Flood risk: Longer grass, deeper lake, restored ponds and absorbent paths all meant to siphon off water 
Dengue fever symptoms

High fever (40°C/104°F)
Severe headache
Pain behind the eyes
Muscle and joint pains
Nausea
Vomiting
Swollen glands
Rash

Everton Fixtures

April 15 - Chelsea (A)
April 21 - N. Forest (H)
April 24 - Liverpool (H)
April 27 - Brentford (H)
May 3 - Luton Town (A)
May 11 - Sheff Utd (H)
May 19 - Arsenal (A)

Full Party in the Park line-up

2pm – Andreah

3pm – Supernovas

4.30pm – The Boxtones

5.30pm – Lighthouse Family

7pm – Step On DJs

8pm – Richard Ashcroft

9.30pm – Chris Wright

10pm – Fatboy Slim

11pm – Hollaphonic

 

UAE SQUAD

Mohammed Naveed (captain), Mohamed Usman (vice captain), Ashfaq Ahmed, Chirag Suri, Shaiman Anwar, Mohammed Boota, Ghulam Shabber, Imran Haider, Tahir Mughal, Amir Hayat, Zahoor Khan, Qadeer Ahmed, Fahad Nawaz, Abdul Shakoor, Sultan Ahmed, CP Rizwan